Priesthood and Church Government
by John A. Widtsoe
Contents

1Chapter 1

1THE COURSE OF THE PRIESTHOOD ON EARTH

11. THE LORD WORKS THROUGH MEN

1Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.—Amos 3:7.

1The great importance of the Priesthood naturally leads to the belief that provision has been made by which this authority has always been available to man. In fact, sacred history testifies that whenever there has been need on earth of the Priesthood, the authority to act for God has been conferred on man.—GQ9.

12. ADAM RECEIVES THE PRIESTHOOD

1The Priesthood was first given to Adam; he obtained the First Presidency, and held the keys of it from generation to generation.—T 157.

1Adam, our first great progenitor and father, after the fall, received this Gospel, and he received the Holy Priesthood in all its power, and its keys and ordinances. He sealed these blessings upon his sons, Seth, Enos, Jared, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Enoch and Methuselah. All these men received this high and holy Priesthood.—JD 16:264, Wilford Woodruff.

1 - 2The only rational thing that could be done for spirits placed on earth was to teach them the story of man's origin and destiny and the meaning and duties of earth-life. The plea of ignorance would not then be valid. Consequently, soon after the first parents had been driven out of the Garden of Eden, an angel appeared and taught Adam the story of man from the first to the last day. The plan of salvation, including the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, the organized Church, the purpose and powers of the Priesthood and the rights and duties of man upon earth, whether within or without the Church, was fully unfolded. Adam, the first earth-pupil of God, was taught, as his first lesson, the eternal philosophy overshadowing the existence of man. When Adam had been taught all this, and had accepted the truth, he was baptized, 1 even as men are baptized today, and he received all the other ordinances of the Gospel and was given full authority, through the Priesthood conferred upon him, to officiate in God's name in all matters pertaining, under the Great Plan, to the welfare of man.—RT 54.

2And thus all things were confirmed unto Adam by an holy ordinance, and the Gospel preached, and a decree sent forth, that it should be in the world until the end thereof; and thus it was.—Moses 5:59.

2Now this same Priesthood, which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world also.—Moses 6:7.

2There has been a chain of authority and power from Adam down to the present time.—T 191.

2There must be this chain in the Holy Priesthood; it must be welded together from the latest generation that lives on the earth back to Father Adam, to bring back all that can be saved and placed where they can receive salvation and a glory in some kingdom. This Priesthood has to do it; this Priesthood is for this purpose.—D 407.

2This, then, is the nature of the Priesthood; every man holding the Presidency of his dispensation, and one man holding the Presidency of them all, even Adam; and Adam receiving his Presidency and authority from the Lord, but cannot receive a fulness until Christ shall present the Kingdom to the Father, which shall be at the end of the last dispensation.—T 169; compare D&C 128:21.

33. THE PATRIARCHAL DISPENSATION

3As children and children's children came to Adam, he taught them carefully all that had been taught him, so that the knowledge of the law might remain upon the earth. The ordinances of the Gospel were practiced, the righteous were organized into the Church, even as today, and the authority of the Priesthood was transmitted by Adam to his children, and by them to their children, so that the precious gift might not be lost. In those days the Church was organized according to the patriarchal order; at least in the days of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, it seems quite clear that the Church was established with all of its essential parts. The Gospel was first revealed to Adam and he taught it to his children. (Moses 6:51-58.)

3The Patriarchal order of this Priesthood 2 was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.

3This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner:

3From Adam to Seth, who was ordained by Adam at the age of 69 years, and was blessed by him three years previous to his (Adam's) death, and received the promise of God by his father, that his posterity should be the chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved unto the end of the earth;

3Because he (Seth) was a perfect man, and his likeness was the express likeness of his father, insomuch that he seemed to be like unto his father in all things, and could be distinguished from him only by his age.

3Enos was ordained at the age of 134 years and four months, by the hand of Adam.

4God called upon Cainan in the wilderness, in the fortieth year of his age; and he met Adam in journeying to the place Shedolamak. He was 87 years old when he received his ordination.

4Mahalaleel was 496 years and seven days old when he was ordained by the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.

4Jared was 200 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.

4Enoch was 25 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam; and he was 65 and Adam blessed him.

4And he saw the Lord, and he walked with Him, and was before His face continually; and he walked with God 365 years, making him 430 years old when he was translated.

4Methuselah was 100 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam.

4Lamech was 32 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Seth.

4Noah was 10 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Methuselah.—D&C 107:40-52.

4From Noah on, the Priesthood was likewise conferred upon successive generations, as shown in the revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

4That he (Adam) received revelations, commandments and ordinances at the beginning is beyond the power of controversy; else how did they begin to offer sacrifices to God in an acceptable manner? And if they offered sacrifices they must be authorized by ordination. We read in Genesis 4:4, that Abel brought of the firstlings of the flock and the fat thereof, and the Lord had respect to Abel and to his offering.

4 - 5And again, "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it he being dead, yet speaketh." (Hebrews 11:4.) How doth he yet speak? Why, he magnified the Priesthood which was conferred upon him, and died a righteous man, and therefore has become an angel of God by receiving his body from the dead, holding still the keys of his dispensation; and was sent down from heaven unto Paul to minister consoling words, and to commit unto him a knowledge of the mysteries of godliness.—T 168-169.

5The next great, grand Patriarch (after Enoch) who held the keys of the Priesthood was Lamech. And Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years and begat a son, and he called his name Noah, saying. This same shall comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.—See Genesis 5:28-29

5And the Lord ordained Noah after his own order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare His Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch.—Moses 8:19.

5Thus we behold the keys of this Priesthood consisted in obtaining the voice of Jehovah, that He talked with him (Noah) in a familiar and friendly manner, that He continued to him the keys, the convenants, the power and the glory, with which He blessed Adam at the beginning; and the offering of sacrifice, which also shall be continued at the last time; 3 for all the ordinances and duties that ever have been required by the Priesthood, under the directions and commandments of the Almighty in any of the dispensations, shall all be had in the last dispensation, therefore all things had under the authority of the Priesthood at any former period, shall be had again, bringing to pass the restoration spoken by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets; then shall the sons of Levi offer an acceptable offering to the Lord. "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord."—T 171.

64. THE FIRST APOSTASY 4

6From the beginning of his earth-career. Adam retained his free agency. Adam's children, likewise, though taught the way of righteousness by the patriarch of the race, could accept or reject for themselves whatever was taught them.

6The descendants of Adam soon began to exercise their free agency, some for, and many against, the Great Plan. Cain, a son of Adam, exercised his free agency in the murder of his brother Abel. As time went on, large numbers departed from the truth concerning man's place in the universe as taught by Adam, and refused to accept the Gospel. Almost concurrently with the establishment of the Church in the first dispensation there was, therefore, a first apostasy. It is ever so, it has ever been so, and ever will be so, that in a world of intelligent beings possessing free agency, some will accept and others will reject truth. No doubt, in the process of time, truth will triumph, and all may be brought to understand the will of God, but the conquest is certain to be attended by many temporary departures from truth. Nevertheless. Adam and those who remained true to his teachings continued faithfully, to teach to others the eternal truth, so that they might perchance be made to return to the Gospel which they had so lightly cast aside.—RT 55.

6It is reasonable to suppose that man departed from the first teachings, or instructions, which he received from heaven in the first age, and refused by his disobedience to be governed by them. Consequently, he formed such laws as best suited his own mind, or, as he supposed, were best adapted to his situation. But that God has influenced man more or less since that time in the formation of law for his benefit we have no hesitancy in believing; for, as before remarked, being the source of all good, every just and equitable law was in a greater or less degree influenced by Him.—T 57.

75. IN THE DAYS OF ABRAHAM AND MELCHIZEDEK

7From the days of the flood, the Lord or His messengers have appeared on earth, at various times, to restore truth or to keep it alive in the hearts of the faithful, so that the earth might never need to be without the knowledge of the Great Plan and the authority of the Priesthood. For instance, Melchizedek, the High Priest, possessed a full measure of the authority of the Holy Priesthood. To Abraham, the Lord and His angels appeared, and endowed him with the authority of God. So on, down the course of time, there are numerous instances of the appearance of the Lord to men to help them to a more perfect understanding of the truths that must be comprehended and obeyed, if men are to continue in their progressive development. It is not known how many men and women at various times have received such visitations, but it is probable that many, even when the Church has not been organized, have received and used the truths of life as embodied in the Great Plan.—RT 56.

7Succession of the Priesthood from Noah to Melchizedek, Who Ordained Abraham. At the time of Noah, the inhabitants of the earth were destroyed, and the coming generations were the descendants of Noah through his sons and their wives. Noah, therefore, is as another first man to the human race. In the sequence of dispensations, he stands next to Adam. He possessed the keys of the Priesthood, even as Adam, and from Noah divine authority descended through successive generations to Melchizedek, who had been ordained a "High Priest after the Most High." Melchizedek conferred the Priesthood upon Abraham. It was the earnest desire of Abraham to receive the Priesthood, and to practice, without molestation, the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that led him to leave Ur for the country which later became the Promised Land.—SP 8.9.

7 - 8Abraham's Account of His Quest for the Priesthood. But the records of the fathers, even the patriarchs, concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands; therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me.—Abraham 1:31.

8And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.

8It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundations of the earth to the present time, even the right of the first-born. on the first man, who is Adam, our first father, through the fathers, unto me.

8I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed.

8My fathers having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the worshiping of the gods of the heathen, utterly refused to hearken to my voice.—Abraham 1:2-5.

8The Priesthood Promised to Abraham. Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee.

8As it was with Noah so shall it be with thee; but through thy ministry my name shall be known in the earth forever, for I am thy God.—Abraham 1:18, 19.

9Imitation of the Priesthood—An Ancient Example. Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.

9Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry.—Abraham 1:26, 27.

9Melchizedek, the Great Contemporary of Abraham. For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;

9To whom also Abraham gave tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of Righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of Peace;

9Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. 5Hebrews 7:1-3.

10The Book of Mormon Testifies of the Mightiness of Melchizedek. Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness;

10But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the High Priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father.

10Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore of him they have more particularly made mention.—Alma 13:17-19.

10Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was also a High Priest after this same order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the High Priesthood forever.—Alma 13:14.

10But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the High Priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father.—Alma 13:18.

10The Identity of Melchizedek 6 Who Melchizedek is, of course, is more or less obscure, but he was not a mysterious character, but a mortal man, who ruled as king of Salem (Jerusalem) under his father. We know that Melchizedek was a righteous High Priest before the Lord, who turned his people from iniquity to righteousness.—RQA Supplement 16.

10From Joseph Smith's Inspired Revision. And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine; and he blessed the wine, he being the priest of the Most High God.

11And he gave to Abram, and he blessed him, and said, Blessed Abram, thou art a man of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and of earth;

11And blessed is the name of the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thine hands.

11And Abram gave him tithes of all he had taken....

11And Melchizedek lifted up his voice and blessed Abram.

11Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.

11And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an High Priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch.

11It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God.

11And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.

11For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course.

11To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to His will, according to His command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.

11And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.

11And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and he was called the prince of peace.

12And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world;

12And hath said, and sworn with an oath, that the heavens and the earth should come together; and the sons of God should be tried so as by fire.

12And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the king of peace.

12And he lifted up his voice, and he blessed Abram, being the High Priest, and the keeper of the storehouse of God;

12Him whom God had appointed to receive tithes for the poor.

12Wherefore, Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had need.

12And it came to pass, that God blessed Abram, and gave unto him riches, and honor, and lands for an everlasting possession; according to the covenants which He had made, and according to the blessing wherewith Melchizedek had blessed him.—IV B.

126. FROM ABRAHAM TO MOSES

12The Priesthood may likewise be traced from Abraham to Moses, who received it from Jethro, with whom he was associated during his sojourn of forty years in the wilderness. Jethro was ordained by Caleb, who was ordained by Elihu, who was ordained by Jeremy, who was ordained by Gad, who was ordained by Esaias, who received the Priesthood under the hand of God, and who was also blessed by Abraham.—SP 9.

12And the sons of Moses, according to the Holy Priesthood which he received under the hand of his father-in-law, Jethro;

12And Jethro received it under the hand of Caleb;

13And Caleb received it under the hand of Elihu;

13And Elihu under the hand of Jeremy;

13And Jeremy under the hand of Gad;

13And Gad under the hand of Esaias;

13And Esaias received it under the hand of God.

13Esaias also lived in the days of Abraham, and was blessed of him—

13Which Abraham received the Priesthood from Melchizedek; who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah;

13And from Noah till Enoch, through the lineage of their fathers;

13And from Enoch to Abel, who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother, who received the Priesthood by the commandments of God, by the hand of his father Adam, who was the first man—

13Which Priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years.

13And the Lord confirmed a Priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations, which priesthood also continueth and abideth forever with the Priesthood which is after the holiest order of God.—D&C 84:6-18.

13Moses Held the Melchizedek Priesthood. It seems that Moses had the greater or Melchizedek Priesthood; that when he was taken, the keys went with him; that the Aaronic Priesthood ruled until Christ, and the people were under the law; that when Christ came he introduced a better covenant and restored the Gospel; and that the Bishopric was, and the Aaronic Priesthood is, under the Melchizedek, and an appendage 7 thereto, as are also all Elders appendages to the Melchizedek Priesthood; and it is also evident that the Presidency of that Priesthood presides over all, as did Melchizedek, Moses, Joseph Smith, etc., with Jesus at the head, as the great Presiding High Priest.—IP 14.

14Aaron Also Held the Melchizedek Priesthood. 8 By what power did Aaron see God? May we not suppose it was by the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood? for without that no man can see the face of God and live. It—the Melchizedek—holds the keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. (Doctrine and Covenants 84.) Moses had these keys; but Aaron also saw God, as well as the seventy Elders of Israel, and the people saw His glory and heard His voice.—Exodus 20:22; Deuteronomy 4:36; IP 4.

147. THE HIGHER PRIESTHOOD WITHDRAWN FROM ISRAEL

14The children of Israel, it seems, were not capable of living up to the law of the Gospel. Therefore, instead of the law of the Gospel which their fathers had enjoyed, God gave them the law of carnal commandments, which included the law of sacrifice and burnt offerings, with other outward performances, for sin; and then He ordained and established an order of the Priesthood to suit the conditions.—CG 4.

14Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;

14And the Lesser Priesthood continued, which Priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory Gospel;

14Which Gospel is the Gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in His wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb.

14 - 15For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of His people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power.—D&C 84:25-28; Exodus 34:1, 2.

15In the new translation of the Scriptures by Joseph Smith, the removal of the Melchizedek Priesthood is clearly defined as follows: "... for I will take away the Priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order (or the Melchizedek) and the ordinances thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in their midst, lest I destroy them. But I will give unto them the law as at the first, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment; for I have sworn in my wrath that they shall not enter into my presence, into my rest, in the days of their pilgrimage."—IP 8, Exodus 34:1-2.

15Aaron (who was a brother of Moses, and also a Levite) with his four sons, were elected first to hold this Lesser Priesthood and to minister in the Priest's office. But this authority was only a part of the powers of the Higher Priesthood, hence it is termed the Lesser. It was, in fact, a new arrangement, something joined on or added to the Melchizedek Priesthood, and hence it is said to be an appendage to the higher Priesthood.—CG 6.

15It seems probable that Aaron, when he received this Lesser Priesthood, was in the same position (as to Priesthood) that our Presiding Bishop is, holding the Melchizedek as well as the Aaronic or Levitical, the latter being an appendage to the former.—IP 5.

15The Calling of the Levites. Some time after this, the Lord made a more extensive call of men to His service. He chose all the tribe of Levi. Counting the males from a month old and upwards they numbered 22,000. So the acting Priesthood in Israel thereafter were all to be of the tribe of Levi, which included Moses and Aaron.

15"And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel; instead of all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the Lord."—CG 11; Numbers 3:12, 13.

15 - 16The Aaronic Priesthood, being continued, held the Urim and Thummim, and gave direction to Joshua who was set apart by Moses, and to Saul, David, Solomon and others, who were anointed and set apart to their kingly power, and to rule over and to lead and to direct Israel, and this state of things continued until Christ. The High Priests of the Aaronic Priesthood being the acknowledged representatives of God, holding the priestly power: whilst the kings were anointed by them, or by their priestly authority, and the kings and rulers had to get the word of the Lord from the Aaronic Priesthood, or through the Urim and Thummim. It is evident that all the Aaronic Priesthood did not have the Urim and Thummim, nor did they call, anoint, or direct kings, or bear rule in the nations; but only the High Priest—one man—and one man presided over the actions of all the other Priests in Israel, and regulated the actions of the kings, telling them when to go to war, and when not to, and giving unto them the word of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim.—IP 12.

16The Succession to the High Priest's Office After Aaron. "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord."—Leviticus 10:1, 2.

16Nadab and Abihu were the oldest sons of Aaron, and they should have taken the lead in the Priest's office; but through their disobedience in offering "strange fire" at the sacrifice, they were slain by the Lord. (Read Numbers 20:23-28.) About two years after the death of Aaron, Moses died also, and from then the Aaronic Priesthood held sway in Israel. Eleazar, the third son of Aaron, took the place of his father as the High Priest of the Lesser Priesthood.—CG 17; Numbers 27:21-23.

16Paul says, "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical Priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another Priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the Priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law."—Hebrews 7:11, 12; IP 13.

17Function and Authority of the Levites Clarified.

17First—That the Levites were selected in the place of the first-born whom the Lord called His own.

17Second—That they were given to Aaron to assist him in the minor or lesser duties of the Priesthood; but that Aaron and his sons officiated in the leading offices of the Priesthood, and not the Levites.

17Third—That there was a tithing paid to them by the whole house of Israel for their sustenance.

17Fourth—That they paid a tithe of this to Aaron.

17Fifth—That on assuming the higher duties of the Priesthood of Aaron, the judgments of God overtook them.

17Sixth—That their Priesthood was only an appendage to the Aaronic Priesthood, 9 and not that Priesthood itself as held by Aaron and his sons.—IP 36.

178. FROM MOSES TO JOHN

17Moses died, according to the chronological record of the Bible, in the year 1451 B.C. Upwards of 300 years afterwards we find Eli officiating as Priest; and although he was a good man, he did not control his sons, nor stop their iniquitous practices; for which he and his sons were reproved by the Lord. And Samuel took his place, and he selected and anointed Saul, who had, as Joshua, part of Moses' honor. And the Aaronic Priesthood continued to exercise its priestly power, more or less, until Christ.... This Priesthood became, in many instances, very corrupt, and incurred the displeasure of God. And many of the kings also, though anointed, perverted their office and calling, and instead of being the protectors and saviors of Israel, helped to lead them astray.—IP 8:10.

17 - 18The Place of Joshua. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; and set him before Eleazar the Priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight; and thou shalt put some of thine honor upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient; and he shall stand before Eleazar the Priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord; at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation. And Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the Priest, and before all the congregation: and he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.—Numbers 27:18-23.

18And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him; and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.—Deuteronomy 34:9.

18Samuel. Samuel, who became a great prophet in Israel, commissioned to consecrate, command, rebuke kings, to direct armies and to serve as the oracle of God unto the people, was chosen while yet a boy and called by the voice of the Lord. Such was the power that followed this call that all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as the prophet of the Lord.—AF 180.

18The Higher Priesthood Only Withdrawn from Israel As a Body. Nevertheless, though the Higher Priesthood had been taken from Israel as a body, it was not permanently taken from the earth.

18 - 19Between the time of Moses and the coming of Jesus Christ, there were at various times, and perhaps at all times, holy men, prophets of the Lord, such as Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Elijah, and others, who received the Holy Priesthood as part of their special commissions in the service of the Lord. Some of these holders of the Priesthood are among the most important figures in ecclesiastical history. Through them the word of the Lord was transmitted from generation to generation. Elijah was the last prophet, before Christ, who held "the keys of the authority to administer in all the ordinances of the Priesthood." 10HC Vol. 4, 207.

19Elijah the Last to Hold the Keys. Elijah was the last prophet who held the keys of the Priesthood, and who will, before the last dispensation, restore the authority and deliver the keys of the Priesthood, in order that all the ordinances may be attended to in righteousness. It is true that the Savior had authority and power to bestow this blessing; but the sons of Levi were too prejudiced. And I will send Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord, etc., etc. Why send Elijah? Because he holds the keys of the authority to administer in all the ordinances of the Priesthood; and without the authority is given, the ordinances could not be administered in righteousness. 11T 172.

19The Ministry of John the Baptist. John, the son of Zacharias, was probably the last who held the keys of the Lesser or Aaronic Priesthood among the Jews. He was raised up and sent as the forerunner of Christ to prepare the way for His first coming. And he was also sent to the world in this dispensation to begin the work of preparation for Christ's second advent.—GD 191.

19 - 20John's ministry came in the meridian of time, when the Gospel was about to be revealed again through Jesus Christ. John preached repentance, and baptized under the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood. The law of Moses, that is, the law of carnal commandments, was fulfilled when Christ introduced the Gospel ordinances, but the Aaronic Priesthood remained intact; it now came under the direction and control of the Melchizedek Priesthood, being appended to the higher. Many of the rites and observances of this Priesthood were abolished with the passing of the old law, and new office and work was introduced under the Gospel dispensation.—CG 19.

209. IN BOOK OF MORMON TIMES

20And there were exceeding many prophets among us. And the people were a stiffnecked people, hard to understand.—Enos 1:22.

20And again: It came to pass that... king Benjamin... appointed priests to teach the people, that thereby they might hear and know the commandments of God, and to stir them up in remembrance of the oath which they had made.—Mosiah 6:3.

20The Record and Ministrations of Alma. And Alma went and began to declare the word of God unto the Church which was established in the valley of Gideon, according to the revelation of the truth of the word which had been spoken by his fathers, and according to the spirit of prophecy which was in him, according to the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who should come to redeem His people from their sins, and the holy order by which he was called. And thus it is written. Amen.—Alma 6:8.

20Now as I said concerning the holy order of this High Priesthood: there were many who were ordained and became High Priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness, rather than to perish.—Alma 13:10.

20And Alma established a church in the land of Sidom, and consecrated Priests and Teachers in the land, to baptize unto the Lord whosoever were desirous to be baptized.—Alma 15:13.

20 - 21And now it came to pass that when the king had sent forth this proclamation, that Aaron and his brethren went forth from city to city, and from one house of worship to another, establishing churches, and consecrating Priests and Teachers throughout the land among the Lamanites, to preach and to teach the word of God among them; and thus they began to have great success.—Alma 23:4.

21Yea, and that same God did establish His Church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full.—Alma 29:13.

21Yea, and the people did observe to keep the commandments of the Lord; and they were strict in observing the ordinances of God, according to the law of Moses; for they were taught to keep the law of Moses until it should be fulfilled.—Alma 30:3.

21Priesthood and Prophets Among the Jaredites. And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.—Ether 4:7.

21And also in the reign of Shule there came prophets among the people, who were sent from the Lord, prophesying that the wickedness and idolatry of the people was bringing a curse upon the land, and they should be destroyed if they did not repent.—Ether 7:23.

21And Ether was a prophet of the Lord; wherefore Ether came forth in the days of Coriantumr, and began to prophesy unto the people, for he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him.—Ether 12:2.

21And it came to pass that Ether did prophesy great and marvelous things unto the people, which they did not believe, because they saw them not.—Ether 12:5.

21 - 22Relation of the Nephite Priesthood to the Church at Jerusalem. You remember reading in the Book of Mormon that the Twelve on this continent, whom the Savior chose after His resurrection, are to be judged by the Twelve Apostles that were at Jerusalem. It was with Peter, who was the senior apostle there, that the keys rested. He was at the head of that dispensation; therefore, those that received the Apostleship on this land were to be judged by the Twelve at Jerusalem. There the keys were; and it was right and proper that Peter, with James and John, should come and bestow them upon him who was to be the head of this dispensation, namely, Joseph Smith.—JD 23:360, George Q. Cannon.

22Ministry of Christ and Priesthood Among the Nephites. The Melchizedek Priesthood was confirmed upon the Nephite disciples upon this continent, after His resurrection and ascension on high. These He made His Apostles, to bear witness of Him upon both hemispheres and to all the world; and doubtless the Savior conferred this Priesthood upon other disciples whom He chose from among the "other sheep" of whom He spoke to the Nephites, whose records are yet to come forth to bear witness of Him, in the due time of the Lord.—GD 190.

22And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was Twelve) and behold, He stretched forth His hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying, Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these Twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power, that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me, and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.—III Nephi 12:1.

2210. IN THE MERIDIAN OF TIME

22 - 23When the Savior came on earth to establish the Gospel in its completeness, He brought with Him the full authority of the Priesthood; He ordained Apostles and Seventies, and left with His followers the authority of the Holy Priesthood, under which the Church could be fully organized for the purposes of the plan of salvation. The Higher Priesthood was restored, and those who in earlier dispensations had held the keys of power came forth to confer them on the Apostles. Moses and Elias, possessing the keys of their dispensations, with the Savior, in the mount, gave the keys of presiding authority to Peter, James and John. Thus the chain of authority was kept complete.—SP 9, 10.

23The early Apostles ordained others to various offices in the Priesthood, and upon the foundation of divine authority they established the primitive Christian Church.

23And He gave some, Apostles; and some, Prophets; and some, Evangelists; and some, Pastors and Teachers;

23For the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ;

23Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God.—Ephesians 4:11-13.

23At no time since the days of Adam, had the Gospel been so fully taught and made so simply clear to the understanding as in the days of Jesus. Under the teachings and authority of the Savior, the Church was re-established.—RT 57.

23Some say the Kingdom of God was not set up on the earth until the day of Pentecost, and that John did not preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; but I say, in the name of the Lord, that the Kingdom of God was set up on the earth from the days of Adam to the present time. Whenever there has been a righteous man on earth unto whom God revealed His word and gave power and authority to administer in His name, and where there is a Priest of God—a minister who has power and authority from God to administer in the ordinances of the Gospel and officiate in the Priesthood of God, there is the Kingdom of God; and, in consequence of rejecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the prophets whom God hath sent, the judgments of God have rested upon people, cities, and nations, in various ages of the world, which was the case with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, that were destroyed for rejecting the prophets.—T 271.

24During His earthly ministry the Savior chose Twelve Apostles and ordained them (Matt. 10:1-4; John 15:16). He called the Seventy also (Luke 10:1). High Priests are referred to by the Apostle Paul (Hebrews 5:1, 10). Elders were ordained by the Apostles (Acts 14:23). Bishops and Deacons are referred to by the Apostle Paul (I Timothy 3:1-7, 8-10). Priests and Teachers are likewise mentioned as being in the Church. (Hebrews 8:4; Acts 6:7; I Corinthians 12:28.)—SP 32.

24The Calling of the Twelve in the Meridian of Time. The Apostles of the Lord were called by His own voice in the days of His ministry; and the Savior's authority is beyond question, vindicated as it is by the mighty works of the atonement, wrought through pain and the anguish of death, and by the declarations of the Father. Peter, and Andrew his brother, while casting their nets into the sea, were called with the instruction: Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men; and soon afterward, James and John, sons of Zebedee, were similarly called. So with all of the Twelve who ministered with the Master; and unto the eleven Apostles who had remained faithful He appeared after His resurrection, giving them special commissions for the work of the kingdom. Christ specifically affirms that He had chosen His Apostles, and that He had ordained them in their exalted stations.

24In the period immediately following that of Christ's earthly mission, the ministers of the Gospel were all designated and set apart by unquestionable authority. Matthias was chosen by lot, but under invocation of the Lord's direction, to fill the vacancy in the body of the Twelve occasioned by the death of Judas Iscariot. Saul of Tarsus, afterward Paul the Apostle, who had been converted with marvelous signs and wondrous manifestations, had to be formally commissioned for the labor that the Lord desired him to perform; and we are told that the Holy Ghost spake to the prophets and teachers of the Church at Antioch, while they fasted before the Lord, saying: Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.—AF 181.

2511. THE GREAT APOSTASY

25After the ascension of Jesus, the Church remained, for some time, fully organized. Thousands flocked to it, and the members lived in accordance with the doctrine taught by the Savior. Soon, however, history repeated itself. In the right of their free agency, those who had joined the Church often refused to obey the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, and more often changed them to suit their own convenience. Such departures from the truth became more numerous and flagrant as time wore on, until error permeated the whole Church. At last, about six hundred years after Christ, the Gospel laws and ordinances had become so completely warped that it was as if the Church had departed from the earth. The authority of the Priesthood no longer remained with the Church. This was the great apostasy. From that time, universal darkness reigned upon earth for many centuries.—RT 58.

25The Melchizedek Priesthood, which Christ restored to the earth, remained among men between three and four hundred years afterwards. When in consequence of transgressions, apostasy from the true order of the Priesthood and Church of Christ, the innovations of priestcraft and paganism, the true order of God was lost, the Holy Priesthood was taken from the earth, and the Church of Christ ceased to be among men, so far as we have any knowledge by revelation or from the history and records of the past.—GD 191.

25The Priesthood has left the people, but in the first place the people left the Priesthood. They transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances and broke the everlasting covenant, and the Priesthood left them; but not until they had left the Priesthood.—D 400.

2512. THE RESTORATION

25 - 26Finally, as men broke through the darkness, as intelligence became diffused among all men, and as liberality of thought grew and became respected, the Gospel was restored with the authority of the Priesthood and the organization of the Church. On an early spring day, in the year 1820, in a wooded grove of western New York, God the Father and God the Son appeared to a fourteen-year-old boy named Joseph Smith, who had faithfully asked for divine help. Through the instrumentality of this boy, guided constantly by the Lord, the Church was re-established, the authority of the Priesthood again conferred upon numerous men, and a fulness of knowledge pertaining to man's place in the universe offered to all who would listen. In time the Church was organized more fully than at any other time in the history of the world. This was the great restoration, the beginning of the last dispensation.—RT 59.

26The Claim of the Latter-day Saints To An Authoritative Priesthood. We claim that the authority to administer in the name of God is operative in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today; and that this power or commission was conferred upon the first officers of the Church by ordination under the hands of those who had held the same power in earlier dispensations. That the authority of the Holy Priesthood was to be taken from the earth as the Apostles of old were slain, and that of necessity it would have to be restored from heaven before the Church could be re-established, may be shown by scripture. On May 15, 1829, while Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were engaged in earnest prayer for instruction concerning baptism for the remission of sins, mention of which Joseph Smith had found in the plates from which he was then engaged in translating the Book of Mormon, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light. He announced himself as John, called of old the Baptist, and said he had come under the direction of Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the higher Priesthood. The angel laid his hands upon the two young men and ordained them to authority.—AF 187; see Pearl of Great Price, pages 56-57, 1923 edition.

26 - 27Ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Melchizedek Priesthood. 12 In the day of Restoration, the Priesthood was conferred upon those called to lay the foundations of the latter-day work. In the year 1829, the Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, under the hands of Peter, James and John, who received the keys of Presidency on the Mount, and who, as the Presiding Council over the Primitive Church, last held the keys of the Higher Priesthood. Every right, authority and key were conferred upon the modern Prophets, and they in turn ordained others for the benefit of the Church of Christ.—SP 21.

27The Calling of Joseph and Oliver as Apostles and as Elders of the Church. Which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, Jr., who was called of God, and ordained an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first Elder of this Church. And to Oliver Cowdery who was also called of God, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the second Elder of this Church, and ordained under his hand.—D&C 20:2, 3, cf. also 27:12-13.

27President Woodruff on the Restoration of the Priesthood. Joseph Smith did not call upon any man to ordain or to baptize him, but he waited until the Lord sent forth His servants to administer unto him. He was commanded of the Lord to go forth and be baptized, but not until he had received the Priesthood. Where did he get it, and in fact what is the Priesthood? It is the authority of God in heaven to the sons of men to administer in any of the ordinances of His house. There never was a man and never will be a man, in this or any other age of the world, who has power and authority to administer in one of the ordinances of the house of God, unless he is called of God as was Aaron, unless he has the Holy Priesthood, and is administered to by those holding that authority.

27 - 28There was no man on the face of the earth, nor had been for the last seventeen centuries, who had power and authority from God to go forth and administer in one of the ordinances of the house of God. What did he do then? Why, the Lord sent unto him John the Baptist, who, when upon the earth, held the Aaronic Priesthood, who was beheaded for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. He laid his hands upon the head of Joseph Smith and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood, and he never attempted to act in any authority of the Gospel until he received this Priesthood. Joseph was then qualified to baptize for the remission of sins, but he had not the authority to lay on hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and he never attempted to administer in this ordinance until Peter, James and John, two of whom—Peter and James—were also martyred for the testimony of Jesus and the word of God. These three men were the last who held the keys of the Apostleship in its fulness and power previous to this dispensation. They laid their hands upon the head of Joseph Smith, and sealed upon him every power, principle, ordinance and key belonging to the Apostleship, and until he received this ordinance he was not qualified and had no right to administer in the ordinances of the house of God, but he did after he received the Priesthood, and on the 6th day of April, 1830, he organized this Church.—JD 16:266, Wilford Woodruff.

28The Prophet Joseph was moved upon by divine inspiration in the establishment of this Church. And before his death he called the Twelve Apostles together, whom he had called to the ministry by revelation, intimating that he would shortly be called home to rest. And he talked with them and instructed them for weeks and months in the ordinances and laws of the Gospel; and he sealed upon their heads all the Priesthood, keys and powers that had been conferred upon him by the angels of God. And then, in addressing them he said, Brethren, no matter what becomes of me, or what my fate may be, you have got to round up your shoulders and bear off this kingdom; the God of heaven requires it at your hands.—JD 19:226, Wilford Woodruff.

28 - 29He (Joseph Smith) lived until he received every key, ordinance and law ever given to any man on the earth, from Father Adam down, touching this dispensation. He received powers and keys from under the hands of Moses for gathering the house of Israel in the last days; he received under the hands of Elijah the keys of sealing the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers; he received under the hands of Peter. James and John, the Apostleship, and everything belonging thereto; he received under the hands of Moroni all the keys and powers required of the stick of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim; he received under the hands of John the Baptist the Aaronic Priesthood, with all its keys and powers, and every other key and power belonging to this dispensation, and I am not ashamed to say that he was a Prophet of God, and he laid the foundation of the greatest work and dispensation that has ever been established on the earth.

29Joseph Smith lived until he gave his testament to the world, and when he had sealed all these keys, powers and blessings upon the head of Brigham Young and his brethren; when he had planted these keys on the earth so that they should be removed no more forever; when he had done this, and brought forth that record, that book of revelation, the proclamation of which involved the destiny of this whole generation—Jew, Gentile, Zion and Babylon, all the nations of the earth—he sealed that testimony with his blood in Carthage jail, where his life and that of his brother Hyrum were taken by the hands of wicked and ungodly men.—JD 16:267, Wilford Woodruff.

29A Kingdom of Priests. The authority of the Priesthood restored in this day has been conferred upon thousands. Every worthy man in the Church may be called to an office in the Priesthood. The latter-day Church of Jesus Christ is indeed a kingdom of Priests. But, every man who holds the Priesthood may trace the authority that has been conferred upon him, back to John the Baptist and Peter, James and John, through Joseph Smith or Oliver Cowdery. The chain must be unbroken, and the call to the Priesthood must have come through the proper authority.

29Such is briefly the earthly history of the Priesthood of God. While this history is known to us only in dim and general outlines, yet, every evidence makes us conclude that, whenever the Church has been established on earth, the organization has been the same as it is today. The Priesthood held by Adam. Enoch and the other Patriarchs, was the same as the Priesthood held by us today.—SP 11.

3013. THE PROMISE

30The Priesthood to Prevail. My feelings at the present time are that, inasmuch as the Lord Almighty has preserved me until today. He will continue to preserve me, by the united faith and prayers of the Saints, until I have fully accomplished my mission in this life, and so firmly established the dispensation of the fulness of the Priesthood in the last days, that all the powers of earth and hell can never prevail against it.—T 258.

30The spirit of Elias is to prepare the way for a greater revelation of God, which is the Priesthood of Elias, or the Priesthood that Aaron was ordained unto. And when God sends a man into the world to prepare for a greater work, holding the keys of the power of Elias, it was called the doctrine of Elias, even from the early ages of the world.

30John's mission was limited to preaching and baptizing; but what he did was legal; and when Jesus Christ came to any of John's disciples, He baptized them with fire and the Holy Ghost.

30We find the Apostles endowed with greater power than John; their office was more under the spirit and power of Elijah than Elias.—T 335.

30The Savior's Promise to the Faithful. Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting Gospel, to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim;

30And also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days;

30And also John the son of Zacharias, which Zacharias he (Elias) visited and gave promise that he should have a son, and his name should be John, and he should be filled with the spirit of Elias:

Footnotes

1. Moses 7:64-68. For the reception of the Holy Ghost, Moses 5:9.

2. The Patriarchal order of Priesthood is the Melchizedek Priesthood under patriarchal organization, such as prevailed in the First Dispensation.

3. The coming of Jesus did away with sacrifices of blood.

4. A mistranslation in the epistle to the Hebrews makes it appear that Melchizedek "was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually." This should refer to his Priesthood and not to the man who held it. It should read: "For this Melchizedek was ordained a priest after the order of the Son of God, which order was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life. And all those who are ordained unto this Priesthood are made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually."—IVB Hebrews 7:3.

This faulty reading in the modern versions of the Bible has led many to believe that Melchizedek, king of Salem, was possessed of some supernatural power, or was not of this earth, but an eternal being sojourning here from the presence of God. He has been variously supposed to be the Holy Spirit, the Son of God, an angel, Enoch and Shem.—Bible Encyclopedia. Supplement to In the Realm of Quorum Activity, page 16.

5. See footnote 4, above.

6. See Chapter XII.

7. See comment in the chapter on Aaronic Priesthood.

8. The Levitical Priesthood is the same as the Aaronic Priesthood, but the offices of the Levitical Priesthood fitted the duties of the Priesthood in a day when bloody sacrifices were offered to the Lord.

9. The Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred upon Adam, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Moses and many others, and doubtless upon many of the prophets prior to the birth of Christ.—GD 238. All "were ordained by God Himself." (Compendium, 1892, p. 287.)

10. See also subsequent chapters on the Melchizedek Priesthood.

11. The rebellion in heaven may be referred to as the first apostasy though in general practice the apostasy in the days of Adam is so denominated.

12. Elijah held the keys of the Priesthood in his day, as Peter, James and John did in their day. These ancient Apostles conferred the Apostleship, which includes all the authority of the Kingdom of God on earth, upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. When the time came to begin the work for the dead. Elijah commissioned Joseph and Oliver to begin that work under the authority that they already possessed.—D&C Sections 27 and 110.

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30Chapter 2

30WHAT IS PRIESTHOOD?

301. NATURE AND DEFINITION

30The Church is composed of eternal, intelligent beings, moving onward in eternal progression, who have accepted God's plan of salvation. It is God's Church. The Lord directs the work of all His children on earth, and He naturally gives attention to the Church composed of His obedient children. Nevertheless, although the Lord is the directing intelligence, He is not here in person nor are other superior beings sent to take direct charge of the work, for that would be contrary to the law that through his free agency and by self-effort, man on earth must move onward and upward. Therefore, that the earth-work may be done authoritatively, God has delegated to man the necessary authority to carry out the provisions of the Plan of Salvation. Priesthood is the name given to this authority. The body of the Priesthood consists of the men who have received this authority and who may act for God, on earth, in matters pertaining to the Church or themselves. Without authority from God there can be no Priesthood.—RT 99.

30The Word Priesthood. Priesthood is a compound of two words: (1) Priest, denoting an officer in the Church and government of God; and (2) hood, a suffix denoting condition, character, state, rank, head; as in statehood, boyhood, fatherhood, godhood.—CGI.

30Priesthood as Directing Agency Between God and Man. What is Priesthood? It is the government of God, whether on the earth or in the heavens, for it is by that power, agency, or principle that all things are governed on the earth and in the heavens, and by that power that all things are upheld and sustained. It governs all things—it directs all things—it sustains all things—and has to do with all things that God and truth are associated with. It is the power of God delegated to intelligences in the heavens and to man on the earth.—MS 9:321, John Taylor.

31Which John I have sent unto you, my servants, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery, to ordain you unto the first Priesthood which you have received, that you might be called and ordained even as Aaron;

31And also Elijah, unto whom I have committed the keys of the power of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, that the whole earth may not be smitten with a curse.

31And also with Joseph and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, your fathers, by whom the promises remain;

31And also with Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days;

31And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be Apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them;

31Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the Gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth;

31And also with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world.—D&C 27:5-14.

31In Conclusion. The mission of the Savior and of His Church is to offer to all the human race the sublime privilege of regaining the presence of the Father and of entering into His rest. Without the Holy Priesthood no man can enjoy the effulgent light of God's countenance, nor secure that eternal peace and contentment of soul which is promised to the righteous.—RQA 12.

31Which Priesthood continueth in the Church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years.—D&C 84:17.

33It is the channel through which the Almighty commenced revealing His glory at the beginning of the creation of this earth, and through which He has continued to reveal Himself to the children of men to the present time, and through which He will make known His purposes to the end of time.—T 167.

33Priesthood as an Instrumentality of Divine Law in the Universe. The Priesthood of the Son of God is the law by which the worlds are, were and will continue forever and ever. It is that system which brings worlds into existence and peoples them, gives them their revolutions, their days, weeks, months, years, their seasons and times and by which they ... go into a higher state of existence.—D 130.

33It is nothing more nor less than the power of God delegated to man by which man can act in the earth for the salvation of the human family, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and act legitimately; not assuming that authority, nor borrowing it from generations that are dead and gone, but authority that has been given in this day in which we live by ministering angels and spirits from above, direct from the presence of Almighty God, who have come to the earth in our day and restored the Priesthood to the children of men, by which they may baptize for the remission of sins and lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and by which they can remit sin, with the sanction and blessing of Almighty God.—GD 139.

33The Priesthood of Eternal Nature. Priesthood is eternal because it represents the power of the Almighty.—SP 22.

33Priesthood is not confined to this life. It endures with us, if we are faithful.—SP 68.

33Now this same Priesthood, which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world also.—Moses 6:7, cf. DC 132:8-11.

33 - 34Now they were ordained after this manner—being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the High Priesthood of the holy order, which calling and ordinance, and High Priesthood is without beginning or end. Thus they became High Priests forever, after the order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth.—Alma 13:8, 9.

34The Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years. The keys have to be brought from heaven whenever the Gospel is sent.—T 157.

34Its institution was prior to the foundation of this earth, or the morning stars sang together, or the sons of God shouted for joy, and is the highest and holiest Priesthood, and is after the order of the Son of God, and all other Priesthoods are only parts, ramifications, powers and blessings belonging to the same, and are held, controlled, and directed by it.—T 167.

34When the faithful Elders, holding this Priesthood, go into the spirit world they carry with them the same power and Priesthood that they had while in the mortal tabernacle.—D 132.

342. PURPOSE OF THE PRIESTHOOD

34As an Instrument for Progressive Human Welfare. Priesthood implies purpose. Man is on earth in conformity with a plan proposed by the Lord and accepted by preexistent man. The purpose of the Plan, made clear in modern revelation, is the eternal, progressive welfare of human beings. 1 The Lord uses those to whom He gives the Priesthood to help work out this eternal Plan and purpose. The necessity of Priesthood, or earthly official agents, is recognized by all who believe that man's life is planned and directed by our Father in heaven.—PC 127.

34As a Means of Individual Guidance. I advise all to go on to perfection, and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of godliness. A man can do nothing for himself unless God directs him in the right way; and the Priesthood is for that purpose.—T 364.

35Group Guidance and Social Control. No book, however good; no tradition, however venerable, is a sufficient guide for a progressive people on their way to the Celestial Kingdom. We have something better than books—far better than the best of them. We have divine authority, which constitutes the men holding it agents and representatives of the Almighty.—CR 1930:47, Orson F. Whitney.

35As Means of Accomplishing Divine Purpose. To restore creation to its pristine excellency and to fulfill the object of creation—to redeem, save, exalt, and glorify man—to save and redeem the dead and the living, and all that shall live according to its laws, is the design and object of the establishment of the Priesthood on the earth in the last days; it is for the purpose of fulfilling what has not heretofore been done—that God's works may be perfected—that the time of the restitution of all things may be brought about, and that, in conjunction with the eternal Priesthood in the heavens (who without us, nor we without them, could not be made perfect), we may bring to pass all things which have been in the mind of God, or spoken of by the spirit of God.—MS 9:32-322. John Taylor.

35The Priesthood as Instrument for Continuous Revelation. The Priesthood or authority in which we stand is the medium or channel through which our Heavenly Father has purposed to communicate light, intelligence, gifts, powers, and spiritual and temporal salvation unto the present generation. 2MS 2:39, Lorenzo Snow.

35The Priesthood as Instrument for Church Government. The organization of the Church begins with the Priesthood, available to every righteous man in the Church; for every objective, activity, and division of the Church is drawn from the authority of the Priesthood.

35 - 36Priesthood is the authority received from God by man to act officially in the accomplishment of the Plan of Salvation. Those who hold the Priesthood, and they only, may perform the sacred ordinances of the Plan of Salvation, whether in their own behalf or as officers of the organized Church of Christ.

36Whenever the Church of Christ is upon earth, the Priesthood is centered in the Church and does not operate outside of the Church. Members of the Church who sin sufficiently to be severed from the Church, lose by that act the Priesthood which formerly may have been bestowed upon them.—PC 126.

36Revelation is inseparably connected with the Priesthood, as an unchanging principle from all eternity to all eternity. Where there is no gift of revelation there can be no Priesthood, and where there is no Priesthood there can be no ordinances of God, and where there are no ordinances of God there can be no Church of God. All doctrine, ordinances, gifts, and blessings pertaining to the Church of God spring from an inspired Priesthood as directly as a stream flows from a fountain. ... As well might man attempt to produce apples or figs independent of a tree as to expect the Church of Christ to be in existence without Apostles, Prophets, etc., to administer the ordinances and blessings thereof.—MS 1:237.

Footnotes

1. For behold, this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.—Moses 1:39.

2. See also Chapter 5, The Priesthood and the Church.

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37Chapter 3

37THE POWERS OF THE PRIESTHOOD

371. THE POWER OF THE PRIESTHOOD

37Since Priesthood is authority to speak and act for God, in behalf of the Plan of Salvation, it implies power. Such power may be used to accomplish the will of God on earth or in heaven, because it is drawn from infinite and divine intelligence. Brigham Young declared: "If anybody wants to know what the Priesthood of the Son of God is, it is the law by which the worlds are, were, and will continue forever and ever. It is that system which brings worlds into existence and peoples them, gives them their revolutions, their days, weeks, months, years, their seasons and times, and by which they are rolled up as a scroll, as it were, and go into a higher state of existence."—PC 127.

37Creative and Redeeming Powers. We have conferred upon us the eternal Priesthood, by which our Heavenly Father has created all worlds and redeemed all worlds and has performed all His works from eternity to eternity.—JD 23:329, Wilford Woodruff.

37Now with regard to the Priesthood. We have been found fault with sometimes because we profess to have the Priesthood. Let me say that our Heavenly Father performs all His works—the creation of worlds, the redemption of worlds—by the power of the Eternal Priesthood. And no man on the earth, from the days of Father Adam to the present time, has ever had power to administer in any of the ordinances of life and salvation only by the power of the Holy Priesthood. You will find this to be the case in the whole history of the prophets of God. When Aaron was given the Priesthood he was called by revelation. "No man taketh this honor unto himself but he that is called of God as was Aaron." Jesus Christ himself had to be called of God. He was a High Priest. He left the Priesthood on the earth with his Apostles.

38They officiated in it until they were put to death. It is by that power that we administer in this day and generation. 1JD 24:242-243, Wilford Woodruff.

382. SPIRITUAL GIFTS

38General. The spiritual gifts which always accompany the Church of Christ and are signs of its verity, are properly exercised under the power of the Priesthood. "These signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall do many wonderful works; in my name they shall cast out devils; in my name they shall heal the sick; in my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf; and the tongue of the dumb shall speak; ... and the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them."—D&C 84:65-72.

38We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healings, interpretation of tongues, etc.—Seventh Article of Faith.

38Such spiritual gifts are properly enjoyed by the Saints of God under the direction of "such as God shall appoint and ordain over the Church"—that is, the Priesthood and its officers. Such gifts, when found outside the Priesthood, are often dangerous, and usually are manifestations of evil spirits.—PC 129.

38 - 39Revelation. A man must have the discerning of spirits to understand these things; and how is he to obtain this gift if there are no gifts of the Spirit? And how can these gifts be obtained without revelation? "Christ ascended into heaven, and gave gifts to men; and He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers." And how were Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists chosen? By prophecy (revelation) and by laying on of hands—by a divine communication, and a divinely appointed ordinance—through the medium of the Priesthood, organized according to the order of God, by divine appointment. The Apostles in ancient times held the keys of this Priesthood—of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God—and consequently were enabled to unlock and unravel all things pertaining to the government of the Church, the welfare of society, the future destiny of men, and the agency, power and influence of spirits; for they could control them at pleasure, bid them depart in the name of Jesus, and detect their mischievous and mysterious operations when trying to palm themselves upon the Church in a religious garb, and militate against the interest of the Church and spread of truth.—T 206.

39Priesthood must be in touch with the source of truth; its labors must be guided by revelation. The first great gift of the Priesthood is revelation. Those who hold the Priesthood are entitled, if their lives are pure, to revelation from God to guide them in their private affairs and official actions within the Church. The Priesthood is indeed the official channel through which the Lord communicates His will to His children on earth. It is to the Priesthood that heavenly beings reveal themselves or inspiration is given as occasion demands. Revelation, operating upon the human mind, increases pure knowledge and wisdom, and opens the visions of eternal life.

39The principle of revelation, continuous and sufficient, is a fundamental doctrine of the Gospel.—PC 130; see also Mosiah 8:13-17.

39 - 40Discernment. A power similar to this (revelation) existed through the medium of the Priesthood in different ages. Moses could detect the magician's power, and show that he (himself) was God's servant; he knew when he was upon the mountain (through revelation) that Israel was engaged in idolatry; he could develop the sin of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, detect witches and wizards in their proceedings, and point out the true prophets of the Lord. Joshua knew how to detect the man who had stolen the wedge of gold and the Babylonish garment. Michaiah could point out the false spirit by which the four hundred prophets were governed, and if his advice had been taken many lives would have been spared. (II Chronicles 18.) Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and many other prophets possessed this power. Our Savior, the Apostles, and even the members of the Church, were endowed with this gift, for, says Paul (I Corinthians 12), "To one is given the gift of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discerning of spirits." All these proceeded from the same Spirit of God, and were gifts of God. The Ephesian church were enabled by this principle "to try those that said they were Apostles, and were not, and found them liars."—T 207.

40Healing. And there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus.—IV Nephi 1:5.

40Power in the Ministry. Therefore they did exercise power and authority over the disciples of Jesus who did tarry with them, and they did cast them into prison; but by the power of the word of God, which was in them, the prisons were rent in twain, and they went forth doing mighty miracles among them.—IV Nephi 1:30.

40Translation. Now the doctrine of translation is a power which belongs to this Priesthood. There are many things which belong to the powers of the Priesthood and the keys thereof, that have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world; they are hid from the wise and prudent to be revealed in the last times.—T 170.

40 - 41Power Over Evil. It would seem also, that wicked spirits have their bounds, limits, and laws by which they are governed or controlled, and know their future destiny; hence, those that were in the maniac said to our Savior, "Art thou come to torment us before the time?" and when Satan presented himself before the Lord, among the sons of God, he said that he came "from going to and fro in the earth, and from wandering up and down in it;" and he is emphatically called the prince of the power of the air; and it is very evident that they possess a power that none but those who have the Priesthood can control.—T 208.

413. PERFORMING ORDINANCES

41The Priesthood also possesses the power of performing the ordinances which are required for entrance into the Church and for continued membership therein. Baptism and the conferring of the gift of the Holy Ghost, whether for the living or the dead, and the administering of the Sacrament, must be performed, if they are to be valid, by one who has divine authority to perform such ordinances; and none outside of a Priesthood which has been commissioned directly by the Lord, has such authority. "Go ye into all the world, preach the Gospel to every creature, acting in the authority which I have given you, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."—D&C 68:8; PC 128.

414. PREACHING THE GOSPEL

41The preaching of the Gospel also requires the authority of the Priesthood. Any person may teach righteous doctrine and will be blessed thereby. But only those who share in the power of the Priesthood can teach with authority the doctrines of Christ and invite the children of men into the Church of Christ. It is those who hold divine authority, that speak as they are "moved upon by the Holy Ghost."—D&C 68:3; PC 128.

41The proclamation of the word of the Lord is, and always has been dependent upon the authority of the Holy Priesthood.—GD 192.

415. THE SEALING POWER

41 - 42Inherent in the Priesthood is the sealing power. This means that the Priesthood possesses authority and power to perform acts that are valid not only on earth, but also in heaven, which extend over life on earth and also throughout life in the eternities. That which the Priesthood binds on earth is bound in heaven, and that which it looses on earth is loosed in heaven.—PC 177.

42Perhaps in no manner is the power of the Priesthood more evident than in the authority that it possesses to seal for time and eternity. For example, marriages may be consummated within the Church for all time—not merely until death doth them part. Family relationships may be continued throughout the eternities. The power of the Priesthood extends beyond the grave. Temple work, including baptism, the endowment, sealing, etc., is a function of the Priesthood. It is by this power that work for the dead may be done. It is by the power of the Priesthood that a person may attain celestial glory. Without the power of the Priesthood one can not enter the presence of God.—PC 129.

42And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.—Matthew 16:19.

42For I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the Priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.

42And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.—D&C 132:45-46.

42And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God.

42For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed.—D&C 132:13-14.

43All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.—D&C 132:7.

43The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelations, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the Kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the Kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven.—T 337.

43Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, while in this probation, by the power and authority of the Holy Priesthood, they will cease to increase when they die, that is, they will not have any children after the resurrection. But those who are married by the power and authority of the Priesthood in this life, and continue without committing the sin against the Holy Ghost, will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory.—T 30.

Footnotes

1. They who receive the Priesthood clearly receive mighty power, but they can exercise it only in the presence of intelligence, like unto that of the Father, compounded from knowledge, wisdom and love.—SP 22.

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44Chapter 4

44PRIESTHOOD AND THE CHURCH

441. PRIESTHOOD COMPRISES THE CHURCH

44General. The Priesthood of the Son of God in its operations comprises the Kingdom of God.—D 130.

44Hearken, and listen to the voice of the Lord, O ye who have assembled yourselves together, who are the High Priests of my Church, to whom the kingdom and power have been given.—D&C 72:1.

44Power to Establish the Church. In short, then, the power of the Priesthood, as committed to man in these latter days, possesses the power to perform every task necessary for the establishment, by authoritative means, of the Church of Christ and of bringing to pass the righteousness of God among the children of men.—PC 129.

44A Royal Priesthood. Those who contemplate the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be struck with the number who hold the Priesthood. The Priesthood is conferred upon all male members who are worthy to receive it. This is a great blessing which the members of this Church enjoy, and it makes them a peculiar people, a chosen generation, holding the royal Priesthood. There is no priestly caste in our Church. Contrary to the opinion of many, such a thing does not exist with us, unless you will call the whole Church a priestly caste, because all participate in the blessings pertaining to the Priesthood.—CR, 1904, p. 7, Anthon H. Lund.

44The Priesthood does not partake of the nature of a democracy, for the people do not elect the officers, but this is done by the presiding authority; the people only sustain after nominations are made.

44 - 45Dependence of Church Progress on the Priesthood. The life and vitality of the Church are drawn from the Priesthood with which the Church has been endowed. Auxiliary organizations and all similar helps can give but feeble service if the power of the Priesthood be withdrawn from them. Even so with the Welfare Program, the progress of which depends upon the exercise of the power of the Priesthood. As men use the Priesthood conferred upon them, so will the Church and all its activities prosper. When the men of the Church holding the Priesthood perform their duties, the Church is always secure. The Church can not rise above its body of Priesthood. No law is more clearly set forth in sacred history.—IE, April 1939, p. 203.

45The study of the subject of the Holy or Melchizedek Priesthood, including the Aaronic, is one of vast importance to the human family. The student of the true science of theology will readily comprehend the necessity of its existence among men, for the reason that true theology, or the Church of Jesus Christ, cannot exist without it. It lies at the foundation of the Church, it is the authority by which the Church is established or organized, built up and governed, and by which the Gospel is preached, and all the ordinances thereof designed for the salvation of mankind are administered or solemnized. No ordinance of the Gospel can be performed acceptably to God or with efficacy to man except by its authority and power, and certainly there is no ordinance or rite instituted by the Almighty in the great plan of redemption which is not essential to the salvation or exaltation of His children. Therefore, where the Melchizedek or Holy Priesthood does not exist, there can be no true Church of Christ in its fullness.—GD 189.

452. THE CHURCH A PRODUCT OF PRIESTHOOD

45The Church itself is a product of Priesthood. Therefore, whenever the Church of Christ is upon earth the Priesthood is a part of it. The Church is the instrument through which Priesthood operates. Men may then obtain the Priesthood through the Church and in no other way.—PC 130.

45The Church of God is the organized institution to which has been given the authority of God to perform, according to the Great Plan, the necessary work on earth for man's salvation. The Church to which this authority has been committed, in these last days, is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.—GQ 8.

45 - 46Joseph Smith, when he organized this Church in 1830, organized it by revelation. ... When God commanded Joseph Smith to go forth and organize the Church, what authority had he to do so? None at all until he was ordained under the hands of those who had held the keys of the Priesthood upon earth.—JD 23:28, Wilford Woodruff.

46This Church has been established by raising up Prophets, unto whom have been given the keys of the Kingdom of God—the keys of the Holy Priesthood and Apostleship of the Son of God, with power to organize the Church and Kingdom of God on the earth, with all its gifts, graces, ordinances and orders as proclaimed by all the Apostles and Prophets who have lived since the world began.—FD 14:2, 3, Wilford Woodruff.

463. NEED OF AUTHORITY

46Again, I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my Gospel, or to build up my Church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the Church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the Church.—D&C 42:11.

46It is not less agreeable to the dictates of human reason than conformable to the plan of perfect organization that characterizes the Church of Jesus Christ, that all who minister in the ordinances of the Gospel should be called and commissioned for their sacred duties by divine authority. The Scriptures sustain this view most thoroughly; they present to us an array of men whose divine callings are attested, and whose mighty works declare a power greater than that of unaided human capacity. On the other hand, not an instance is set down in Holy Writ of anyone taking to himself the authority to officiate in sacred ordinances and being acknowledged of the Lord in such administration.—AF 179.

46 - 47There is much to be done for man and by man during the earth-career. Every day brings its problems; laws are to be enforced; ordinances to be performed, and God must communicate with His earthly children. Much of this work involves authority, which must be settled somewhere if order is to prevail. The authority to act for God is committed to the Church, as the organized community of believers, and, indeed, authority is a distinguishing characteristic of the Church. Some form of authority from God is necessary in all our work, and the earthly source of God's authority is the Church, organized by the supreme, intelligent God.—RT 92.

47The Church of Christ possesses real authority, derived from God, and in its work represents God. Such a Church, alone, can appeal to the human understanding. A Church without authority is limp and helpless. Authority is the final test of a true Church. Does it attempt to officiate for God? Does its Priesthood possess authority? From the beginning, the Church of God has been given direct, divine authority so that its work might not be questioned. The angel walked with Adam; the Lord spoke to Abraham; Jesus in person came on earth; the Father and the Son came to Joseph Smith. In all ages, when the Church has been fully established, the Priesthood has been conferred by authoritative beings. The authority of the Church is real and genuine and possesses power. By its power it shall be known.—RT 116.

47When a man merely from a spirit of conviction goes forth to build up the Kingdom of God, to reform the nations of the earth, he can go so far as morality operates upon and enlightens him; but he is without authority from heaven. We are under no obligation to obey any man or being in matters pertaining to salvation, unless his words have the authority and sanction of the Holy Priesthood.—D 135.

474. CHURCH GUIDANCE THROUGH PRIESTHOOD

47 - 48When the Lord wishes to give a revelation to His people, when He wishes to reveal new items of doctrine to them, or administer chastisement, He will do it through the man whom He has appointed to that office and calling. The rest of the offices and callings of the Church are helps and governments for the edifying of the body of Christ, and the perfection of the Saints, etc.; every President, Bishop, Elder, Priest, Teacher, Deacon and member standing in his order and officiating in his standing and degree of Priesthood, as ministers of the words of life, as shepherds to watch over departments and sections of the flock of God in all the world, and as helps to strengthen the hands of the Presidency of the whole Church.—D 137.

48And I know this, that God has organized His Church in the earth, and I know that when he designs or proposes to make any change in the matter of governing or controlling or presiding over the affairs of His Church, that He will make the change, and He will make it in such a way that the whole people of the Church, who are doing right, will understand and accept it. I know that the Lord will not raise up "Tom, Dick, or Harry," here, there and everywhere, claiming to be Christ, or "one mighty and strong," claiming to be inspired and called to do some wonderful thing. The Lord will not deal with men in that way; that while the organization of the Church exists, while quorums and councils of the Priesthood are intact in the Church, the Lord will reveal His purposes through them, and not through "Tom, Dick, or Harry." Put that in your little note books now, and remember it; it is true.—GD 36.

48The government of the Kingdom of God on earth is committed to the Church of Christ. That means that upon the Church is placed the responsibility of working out the Lord's plan for human salvation. Clearly and definitely the order of government of the Lord's latter-day earthly kingdom has been set forth and the different degrees of authority to be conferred upon those who are called into the official positions of the Church. By the spirit of revelation, the Priesthood governs the Church of Christ. Under this government, the Priesthood has power to instruct, rebuke and bless, as needed for the welfare of individuals, but only as authorized by the officers of the Church. And the government so obtained is perfect. It is freed from the dross of personal desire, and the uncertainty of self-assumed authority. The path is clear for all who care to travel it, and those who live under its government are made happy and prosperous in their lives. It is a perfect order and system of government, and this alone can deliver the human family from all the evils which now afflict its members, and insure them happiness and felicity hereafter.—D 201.

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48Chapter 5

49THE PRIESTHOOD BEARER

491. FITNESS TO RECEIVE THE PRIESTHOOD

49Those Worthy are to be Chosen. There has been a day of calling, but the time has come for a day of choosing; and let those be chosen that are worthy. And it shall be manifest unto my servant, by the voice of the Spirit, those that are chosen; and they shall be sanctified; and inasmuch as they follow counsel which they receive, they shall have power after many days to accomplish all things pertaining to Zion.—D&C 105:35-37.

49Men should be fit to receive the Priesthood. Men must prove themselves worthy by their lives to receive the Priesthood; and their advancement in the Priesthood should be determined by their lives within the Gospel fold. Fitness to receive the Priesthood is defined by the Priest Jethro, who, when advising Moses to secure helpers to administer the affairs of Israel, said, "Moreover, thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness." (Exodus 18:21.) That is, to receive the Priesthood, men must be able and Godfearing—men of truth, hating covetousness.—PC 131.

49How to Become Worthy. (1) Faith in God. Men make themselves worthy of receiving the Priesthood by fearing God. That means that candidates for ordination to the Priesthood must acknowledge the existence and overshadowing power of our Father in heaven. They must have learned to love Him to such a degree that they yield themselves to Him with all their strength. The fear of God is the love for God—a love so strong that men fear to offend by disobeying His will.—SP 27.

49 - 50(2) Love. Yet another chief quality fits a man to minister in the authority of the Priesthood. The Father, in love for His children, established the plan of salvation, and gave His children the privilege of an earth experience, and yielded His Only Begotten Son to mortal death, that men might win eternal life. Since the Gospel plan is founded in love, the Priesthood, the power of Almighty God, must likewise show forth abounding, unselfish love. Unless that is done, Priesthood loses its edge and power, and becomes a hollow mockery.—SP 28.

50(3) Devotion to the Cause. The ability that fits a man to receive the Priesthood comes from devotion to the cause of God. The Gospel must be understood; therefore, candidates for the Priesthood should be students of the Scriptures and of the Word of God, and should familiarize themselves with the principles, ordinances and organization of the Church. They should also learn how the knowledge of the Gospel may be administered in the temporal and spiritual affairs of man; and above all they should engage actively in the work spoken of as the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ability in worldly learning, or in achieving great human tasks, does not fit a man to receive the Priesthood; but ability in understanding, and using the Word of God with respect to the eternal salvation of His children, does so fit him.—SP 28.

50(4) Teachableness. The Lord has so ordained that no man shall receive the benefits of the everlasting Priesthood without humbling himself before Him, and giving Him the glory for teaching him, that he may be able to witness to every man of the truth, and not depend upon the word of any individual on the earth.—D 131.

50Steps in Recommending or Choosing. Before anyone is ordained to any office in the Church, those whose duty it is to recommend him should carefully consider whether he is:

501. Worthy of the honor to hold the Priesthood.

502. Willing to serve in the position to which he is called.

503. Sustained by the vote of the people.—PM 32-33.

50No person is to be ordained to any office in this Church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that Church.—D&C 20:65.

50 - 51On the subject of ordination, a few words are necessary. In many instances there has been too much haste in this thing, and the admonition of Paul has been too slightingly passed over, which says, Lay hands suddenly upon no man. Some have been ordained to the ministry, and have never acted in that capacity, or magnified their calling at all. Such may expect to lose their appointment, except they awake and magnify their office. Let the Elders abroad be exceedingly careful upon this subject, and when they ordain a man to the holy ministry, let him be a faithful man, who is able to teach others also; that the cause of Christ suffer not. It is not the multitude of preachers that is to bring about the glorious millennium! But it is those who are "called, and chosen, and faithful."—T 42.

512. FITNESS TO HOLD THE PRIESTHOOD

51General. All members of the Priesthood are under the requirements to keep themselves fully fit to possess and exercise the power of the Priesthood.—SP 64.

51Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.—D&C 38:42.

51See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the Gospel requires. Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated. And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace. Pray always, that ye may not faint, until I come. Behold, and lo, I will come quickly, and receive you unto myself. Amen.—D&C 88:123-126.

51 - 52It is a fearful thing to tamper with sin; to see how near we can approach the fatal cataract, without taking the death plunge. A great variety of forbidden fruits are before us; they appear lovely and very desirable, but unlawfully taking thereof is death. Seek, then, to save yourselves and others; and instead of weakening virtue, strengthen it, both in yourselves and others; thus you will wax strong in the spirit, and the power of Israel's God will be with you, and your ministrations will be attended with blessings, and not cursings; and your influence will extend to thousands who with their generations will bless you forever.—RQA 104, 1930, Orson Pratt.

52Men Should Honor and Magnify Their Calling. Men who are vessels of the Holy Priesthood, who are charged with words of eternal life to the world, should strive continually in their words and actions and daily deportment to do honor to the great dignity of their calling and office as ministers and representatives of the Most High.—D 130.

52If I find a man, as I do once in a while, who thinks he ought to be sustained in a higher position than he occupies, that proves to me that he does not understand his true position, and is not capable of magnifying it. Has he not already the privilege of exhibiting all the talents he has—of doing all the good he is capable of in this Kingdom? Is he curtailed in the least, in anywise or place, in bringing forth his wisdom and powers, and exhibiting them before the community and leading out? No, not in the least.—D 134.

52Unselfish Devotion to the Cause. We are learning the great truth that man is insignificant in his individuality, in comparison to the mighty cause which involves the salvation of the children of men, living and dead, and those who will yet live in the earth. Men must set aside their own prejudices, their own personal desires, wishes and preferences, and pay deference to the great cause of truth that is spreading abroad in the world.—GD 90.

52And if any man shall seek to build up himself, and seeketh not my counsel, he shall have no power, and his folly shall be made manifest.—D&C 136:19.

52Until a selfish, individual interest is banished from our minds, and we become interested in the general welfare, we shall never be able to magnify our Holy Priesthood as we should.—D 133.

52 - 53Willingness to Lead in Church Enterprises. Priesthood implies leadership. The revelations of the Lord declare repeatedly that those who have received the Priesthood bear the responsibility of leading out and carrying forward every project for the advancement of the restored Church of Christ. They must be the foremost laborers in the Kingdom of God. Nor can this responsibility be shifted to others. to presiding officers or to helps to the Priesthood, such as auxiliary bodies, but it must be accepted and borne individually by the Priesthood bearers themselves.—IE, April 1938, 203.

53Effects of Shrinking From Responsibility. I am sometimes led to believe that some of our brethren. Elders in Israel, are too ready and willing to shirk the obligations they are under by reason of their covenants, the faith they once possessed seems to be almost exhausted, and they appear to settle down into quiet satisfaction of a mere nominal membership in the Church. There are others who think because they are perhaps only employees, occupying narrow spheres, that it does not matter much what habits they contract, or what kind of examples they set before their brethren. Herein they manifest great weakness or gross ignorance; their lamp is either growing dim or they never sensed the position they assumed in taking upon themselves the responsibilities of the Gospel.—JD 18:299, Lorenzo Snow.

53It is the misapplied intelligence God has given us that makes all the mischief on the earth. That intelligence He designed to carry out the purposes of His will, and endowed it with capabilities to grow, spread abroad, accumulate, and endeavor to enjoy greater happiness, glory, and honor, and continue to expand wider and wider, until eternity is comprehended by it: if not applied to this purpose, but to the groveling things of earth, it will be taken away, and given to one who has made better use of this gift of God.—D 227.

53 - 54Initiative as a Necessary Quality. For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness: for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned. Who am I that made man, saith the Lord, that will hold him guiltless that obeys not my commandments? Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled? I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing. Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for His promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above.—D&C 58:26-33.

54Priesthood-Holding as a Mission. Now I look upon the Elders of Israel here tonight, and in this Church and Kingdom, as upon a mission. We have been ordained to a mission, and we have our time set to do it and to perform it. Not that I know exactly how many days or years we are going to spend in it. But this mission is required of our hands, not at the hands of Brother Taylor, Brother Joseph, or Brother Brigham alone, but it is required at our hands by the God of heaven, and we are performing a work and laying a foundation which we have got to meet on the other side of the veil.—JD 21:281, Wilford Woodruff.

54Desire to Perform Outstanding Service. Men who wish to retain their standing before God in the Holy Priesthood, must have the spirit of prophecy, and be qualified to administer life and salvation to the people; and if they cannot do it to the world, they must do it at home, in their families, in their shops, and in the streets, that their hearts may be inspired with words of life at their firesides, in teaching the Gospel to their children, and to their neighbors, as much so as when they are speaking to their brethren from this stand.—JD 4:157, Lorenzo Snow.

543. LOVE OF KNOWLEDGE

54Every Man to Learn His Duty. Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.

55He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved, shall not be counted worthy to stand.—D&C 107:99-100.

55Study the Scriptures. I now say to the brethren holding the Priesthood—the High Priests, the Seventies, the Elders and the Lesser Priesthood—magnify your callings; study the Scriptures; read the 107th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants on Priesthood; learn that revelation, which was given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and live by its precepts and doctrine, and you will gain power and intelligence to straighten out many kinks that have heretofore existed in your minds, and to clear up many doubts and uncertainties in relation to the rights of the Priesthood. God gave that word to us. It is in force today in the Church and in the world, and it contains instruction to the Priesthood and the people in relation to their duties, which every Elder should know.—GD 164.

55Priesthood Instructs. The Priesthood does not wait for ignorance: it instructs those who have not wisdom, and are desirous of learning correct principles.—D 131.

55Must Learn to Use Available Knowledge. And again, we never inquire at the hand of God for special revelation only in case of there being no previous revelation to suit the case; and that in a council of High Priests.—T 22.

55Seek Knowledge of Truth in Wide Fields. Theology is not the only subject in which the Elders should be interested. They should study:

55Things both in heaven—Astronomy.

55And in the earth—Everything pertaining to the cultivation of the soil.

55And under the earth—Mineralogy, geology, etc.

55Things which have been—History, in all its branches.

55Things which must shortly come to pass—Prophecies.

55Things which are at home and abroad—Domestic and foreign politics.

55Wars—perplexities—judgments—The signs of the times, by which the observer may know that the day of the Lord is at hand.

56A knowledge of countries and kingdoms—Physical and political geography, languages, etc.

56These studies, the Lord considers necessary. "That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you." God does not require all His servants to become doctors, or professors, or even profound students of these subjects, but He expects them to know enough of these things to be able to magnify their calling as His ambassadors to the world.—RQA, 1931, 54-5.

56There are a great many branches of education. Some go to colleges to learn languages, some to study law, some to study physics, and some to study astronomy and various other branches of science. We want every branch of science taught in this place that is taught in the world. But our favorite study is that branch which particularly belongs to the Elders of Israel, namely, theology. Every Elder should become a profound theologian, should understand this branch better than all the world.—JD 6:317, Brigham Young.

564. PERSONAL DEMANDS

56A Sound Body. Complete living requires a sound body. The sound mind in the sound body is the first requisite of any person who desires to live happily and serve well. Every member of the Priesthood should keep himself in perfect physical health. There should be no pride in ill health. The person who keeps his body in good condition lengthens out his life in years, and, because he can do his work more effectively, increases the sum total of his service and enjoyments on earth. Even spiritual life is less vigorous and satisfying when the body is not in good condition.

56The best ideal to follow for the preservation of physical health has been revealed by the Lord, and is printed in Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants. 1

56 - 57Every member of the Priesthood should obey, daily, the laws of good health. This is not difficult if the habit be once established. Likewise, he should see to it that the members of his family are living in harmony with these laws.—SP 70.

57Spiritual Growth. Man has a spiritual nature which must be cultivated carefully. The moral law, a part of the spiritual law, declares that improper conduct will undermine the health of body and mind. Departures from the moral law are more serious than departures from either the physical or mental laws.

57The use of any possession presupposes a plan or philosophy of use. The Plan, according to which a man holding the Priesthood must use his gifts, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every act in the life of such a person must be considered and judged in relation to the Gospel from which the Priesthood is derived and to which the man is committed by his acceptance of the Priesthood. Thus it is that conduct, the daily use of our gifts, becomes the final measure of a man's fitness to do the work of the world to which he belongs. This is often spoken of as living the Gospel.

57By proper conduct or righteous living, that is by firm adherence to the Gospel requirements in all the acts of life, a man wins for himself spiritual growth, and the blessings that flow from the larger spiritual life. It is the enjoyment of spiritual peace that yields the greatest happiness of which man is capable.

57The Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and Section 4 of the Doctrine and Covenants are divine guides to right living.—SP 72.

57 - 58Intellectual Activity. Man is more than animal. A man holding the Priesthood can live up to his high calling only by exercising his mind, with all his might, and thereby increasing daily his intellectual vigor. The Prophet Joseph Smith declared that the things of God are of deep import, and time and effort, and deep and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. When the Prophet so spoke, he clearly had in mind, not merely the principles that are connected with life within the Church, but all truth pertaining to human life, for all truth belongs to the organization known as the Church of Christ. Brigham Young said: I shall not cease learning while I live, nor when I arrive in the spirit world, but shall there learn with greater facility; and when I again receive my body, I shall learn a thousand times more in a thousand times less time; and then I do not mean to cease learning, but shall continue my researches.—JD 8:10; SP 70-71.

58Economic Welfare and Personal Industry. Every man must spend a large part of his time in the business of making a living for himself and his family. That activity is his vocation. Success in his vocation means an adequate income, joy in the work, opportunity for growth, and the privilege to serve others. Many members of the Priesthood have already chosen their vocations. They are mature men. Nevertheless, they should strive for increased financial independence. This must come ordinarily from the savings from the income from his vocation. 2

58A man holding the Priesthood should be careful of his means.—SP 71-72.

58If I had been set to turn the world over, to dig down a mountain, to go to the ends of the earth, or traverse the deserts of Arabia, it would have been easier than to have undertaken to rest, while the Priesthood was upon me. I have received the holy anointing, and I can never rest till the last enemy is conquered, death destroyed, and truth reigns triumphant.—JD 1:15, Parley P. Pratt.

58 - 59Family Love and Justice. 3 The small sacrifices required by service in the Priesthood are made easier when there is love and justice at home. Do unto members of the family as you would have them do unto you. A man holding the Priesthood should strive with all his might to bring into his family the genuine happiness, which never depends on money, but which is brought about by the loving courtesies that may be given easily and fully. Let it be remembered that the keenest suffering is of the mind, not of the body; and the highest joys are likewise those of the mind and spirit of man.

59Every husband, holding the Priesthood, should give special attention to the welfare of his wife who shares with her husband in the blessings of the Priesthood. She will have the spirit of the work if the husband and his wife talk over the problems and duties of their joint calling in the Church. In short, every Priesthood member should teach correct living in his home and should join his family in living correctly. Home life among the Priesthood should be ideal, filled with service, kindness and loyalty.—SP 73.

59Relation To Humanity. Every man holding the Priesthood is essentially an ambassador of truth to the nations, and should therefore attempt to develop all his faculties and to secure a cosmopolitan outlook on life. To accomplish this, he must so order his life as to mingle with his friends and acquaintances in social enjoyment or civic duty.—SP 73.

59Citizenship and the Priesthood Bearer. Humanity is organized under governments. Peace and the stability of life's concerns depend primarily upon the respect and love in which the citizens hold their governments. Patriotism is the expression of loyalty which men give their high governmental ideals. A man should be loyal to his country, else seek another.

59Such love and loyalty mean, however, a jealous care for the welfare of the country. No government, in its laws and official actions, is wholly perfect. Therefore, the citizens of a country attempt, with charity and love, to correct mistakes and establish new and better conditions. That is the higher meaning of politics.

59We believe in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law. The members of the Church have always been good citizens in whatever country they have lived. It is a doctrine of the Latter-day Saints that the members of the Church must be obedient to the laws of the land in which they live.

59 - 60A man holding the Priesthood must be a good citizen. He must help to establish and maintain a good government. He should help to have good men placed in nomination for office. He should go to the polls and vote for the man who will fill the office best. If elected to office, he must be guided only by principles of law, honor and justice. He must respect the law. If he feels that a law is not a good one, then through the proper channels he should endeavor to change it; but while it is the law, he should respect it. In short, he should in all respects be a good citizen, living up fully to the ideals of the Church.—SP 73-74.

60Tithe-Paying. The payment of tithes is God's law of revenue for the support and furtherance of His earthly work. A tenth of all earnings and increase should be set aside and used to build up the Kingdom of God.

60Tithing has been instituted in the Church in every dispensation when the United Order has not been established. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. In Malachi, one who neglects this law is said to rob God. The Savior sanctions it. In our present dispensation, tithing, the lesser law, exists in place of the United Order. (See Genesis 14:18-20; 28:16-22; Malachi 3:8-12;Doctrine and Covenants Section 119.)

60Unnumbered blessings have been promised the faithful observers of this law. And tens of thousands will testify to the goodness of the Lord, that they have been abundantly blessed through paying an honest tithe. This law is for every one who receives pay or increase for his labor; but the Priesthood holder should be exemplary. A member of any organization or society is not in full fellowship who fails to pay his dues.—SP 65.

60 - 61Character and Purity of Life. Character is what you really are. Reputation is what people think you are. Integrity means being genuine, whole-souled, thorough. A person may be a good, bad or indifferent character. The word character, when used alone, ordinarily indicates good character. Character and integrity are prime essentials to real success in anything. Every one bearing the Priesthood should develop these qualities. Do not make loose promises. But, when you make a promise, keep it. Be true to yourself. Be dependable. Whatever you have to do, do it the very best you can. It is not the fuss and feathers that count; it is the hard, steady effort that makes the grade.—SP 64.

61Moral conduct is the very foundation of society. Where immorality prevails, the community fails. Those who bear the Priesthood should be clean in mind and action. Do not tell improper stories; do not listen to them. Put such things away from your mind. Do not think of unclean or immoral things. Put your mind and thoughts on uplifting, profitable ideas. Realize that immoral thoughts and actions demoralize and degenerate anyone.—SP 64.

61The Priesthood requires the training of the will to accomplish the duties devolving upon the members. Self-mastery grows by exercising a long series of choices of the right action. Solomon, the wise king, said: He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. (Proverbs 16:32.)—SP 64.

61Unity of Mind and Purpose. The Latter-day Saints are trying to do the work that Israel failed to do, and that the former Saints did not accomplish, and we can only do it by becoming one even as the Father and the Son are one, and this in order that the world may believe that we are sent of God. If we have division in our midst; if we be divided either spiritually or temporally, we never can be the people that God designs us to become, nor can we ever become instruments in His hands of making the world believe that the Holy Priesthood has been restored, and that we have the everlasting Gospel. In order for us to effect the purposes of God, we shall have to do as Jesus did—conform our individual will to the will of God, not only in one thing, but in all things, and to live so that the will of God shall be in us.—JD 22:341-342, Lorenzo Snow.

615. OBEDIENCE AND LOYALTY

61General. When the Holy Priesthood is upon the earth, and the fulness of the Kingdom of God has come to the people, it requires a strict obedience to every point of law and doctrine and to every ordinance which the Lord reveals.—D 132.

62Shall a Man Obey a Man? Obedience to the invariable laws of nature is, usually, considered to be a self-evident necessity. The question of the propriety of obedience is commonly raised when man exercises authority over man. Shall a man obey a man? The first consideration in the answer to this question is whether the system which the man in authority represents is based on truth. If so, intelligent man will be bound to render obedience to the system, even if exercised through imperfect man. The second consideration is whether the man who, unless a member of the First Presidency, has limited jurisdiction, is acting within his authority in the organization. This can always be determined, simply by laying the matter before the bodies constituted to settle such matters. The third consideration is whether the matter to which authority has been applied is at all under the discipline of the organization. No officer in the Church has authority beyond matters pertaining to the Church. Authority exercised beyond that field is accepted only at the discretion of the individual members of the Church, and should come only in the form of counsel. If "yes" is the answer to these three considerations, obedience must be rendered by a progressing man. If "no" is the answer, obedience should not be yielded, but the matter should be tried before the proper courts.—RT 119.

62We are aware that the order of God requires the exercise of humility, but not the servility of slaves; but a humility that can be associated with undoubted courage and unflinching integrity; at the same time there is no room for pride, self-sufficient pride, that rests solely upon its own capabilities, and refuses to look for the support and countenance of others.—MS 7:91.

62 - 63Results of Disobedience. The moment a man says he will not submit to the legally constituted authority of the Church, whether it be the Ward Teachers, the Bishopric, the High Council, his Priesthood quorum, or the First Presidency, and in his heart confirms it and carries it out, that moment he cuts himself off from the privileges and blessings of the Priesthood and Church, and severs himself from the people of God, for he ignores the authority that the Lord has instituted in His Church. These are the men that generally get crotches in their heads, that get inspiration (from beneath), and that are often so desirous to guide the Church, and to sit in judgment upon the Priesthood.—GD 45.

63For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.—D&C 3:4.

63I will give you one of the keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is on the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives. The principle is as correct as the one that Jesus put forth in saying that he who seeketh a sign is an adulterous person; and that principle is eternal, undeviating, and firm as the pillars of heaven; for whenever you see a man seeking after a sign, you may set it down that he is an adulterous man.—T 156.

63Loyalty to the Priesthood. Now, we must remember that there is not a single officer in the Church who has selected himself. 4 The officers of the Church have been called to these positions, and we ought to remember this. We ought to sustain this work, sustain the organization of the Church, and sustain the Priesthood.—CR, 1897, 4, Marriner W. Merrill.

63If we talk about the living oracles and want to pay respect to them, how shall we do this? Shall we do it by never reading their words—by paying no attention to that which they say? That is a very poor way of doing.

64We ought to listen to their words. When we cannot hear their words, we should read them; for they are the words of the authorized servants of God. I feel that there is a great neglect among us in this respect.—CR, 1897, 38, George Q. Cannon.

64Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them; but those who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin and are the children of disobedience themselves; and those who swear falsely against my servants, that they might bring them into bondage and death; woe unto them; because they have offended my little ones; they shall be severed from the ordinances of mine houses; their basket shall not be full, and their houses and their barns shall perish, and they themselves shall be despised by those that flattered them; they shall not have right to the Priesthood, nor their posterity after them, from generation to generation; it had been better for them that a millstone had been hanged about their necks, and they drowned in the depth of the sea.—T 135. See also DC 121:18-21.

64Obedience to Duty. Responsibility of Priesthood Bearers. It does not make any difference to what positions we are called or ordained. If we are called to the office of a Bishop we should fulfill the duties pertaining to that office.—JD 21:281, Wilford Woodruff.

64These disciples of Christ received the Holy Priesthood, the Gospel of Christ, and the keys of the Kingdom of God, and Jesus held them responsible to the day of their death for the course they pursued. However much they were despised by the world, they were held responsible for bearing a true and faithful testimony to Jew and Gentile, of Jesus Christ being the true Shepherd and the Savior of the World.

64And when He gave him (Joseph Smith) the Priesthood under the hands of John the Baptist, and the Apostleship under the hands of Peter, James and John.

65the Lord Almighty held him responsible unto the day that he sealed his testimony with his blood, for the course that he pursued with these things. And he bore his testimony, left it on record, and sealed it with his blood, and laid down his life, and that testimony is in force today upon all the world, and will remain so until the end of time. And when I say this of Joseph Smith, I say it of every other man. President Young has led this Church for many years, and the Lord has held him responsible, and will hold him so unto the day of his death, for the course pursued by him while conducting the affairs of His Church and Kingdom, and also for the use he makes of the Holy Priesthood and the keys of the Kingdom. So also with his counselors, the Twelve Apostles, and every one of us; we shall all be held accountable to the day of our death, and we shall have to give an account before the God of heaven when we go into the spirit world and meet Him there; for the use of this Priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, which have been established on the earth for the last time, have been committed into the hands of this people, and God will hold the whole of us responsible for the use we make of the blessings, privileges and powers which we enjoy in connection therewith. The eyes of God and His angels, and of every man who dwells in the celestial world, are watching us, and the course we pursue.—JD 18:188-189, Wilford Woodruff.

656. CHURCH ACTIVITY

65General. All members of the Priesthood, who are not away on missions, should be kept busy at home. There is enough work for all to do.—SP 51.

65And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a commandment, that every man, both Elder, Priest, Teacher, and also member, go to with his might, with the labor of his hands, to prepare and accomplish the things which I have commanded. And let your preachings be the warning voice, every man to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness. And go ye out from among the wicked. Save yourselves. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Even so. Amen.—D&C 38:40-42.

66The Welfare of the Church is Dependent on Priesthood Activity. When the men of the Church holding the Priesthood perform their duties, the Church is always secure. The Church cannot rise above its body of Priesthood.—IE, April 1938, 203.

667. LOSS OF THE PRIESTHOOD

66Loss Through Apostasy. A man may forfeit the right to exercise the Priesthood which he has received. It must be given and received for the purposes of the Plan provided by the Lord for the salvation of His children, otherwise it is not valid before the Lord.—SP 10-11.

66And they who are of the High Priesthood, whose names are not found written in the book of the law, or that are found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off from the Church, as well as the Lesser Priesthood, or the members, in that day shall not find an inheritance among the Saints of the Most High. Therefore, it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the Priest, as will be found recorded in the second chapter and sixty-first and second verses of Ezra.—D&C 85:11-12.

66Loss by Incorrect Living. The Priesthood is received by man, but the use of it determines whether it remains with him. The right to use it vanishes under the cloud of unrighteous living, for nothing so grieves our Heavenly Father as to have those who have received great knowledge, deny it and return to untruth. This view of the Priesthood is not always remembered by those who are tempted, after having been ordained, to depart from the paths of righteousness.

66This makes a very serious matter of receiving this covenant and this Priesthood; for those who receive it must, like God Himself, abide in it, and must not fail, and must not be moved out of the way; for those who receive this oath and covenant and turn away from it, and cease to do righteously and to honor this covenant, and will to abide in sin, and repent not, there is no forgiveness for them, either in this life, or in the world to come.—GD 149.

67It is better not to receive the Priesthood, than to receive it and dishonor it.—SP 26.

67The power, glory and blessings of the Priesthood could not continue with those who received ordination only as their righteousness continued; for Cain also being authorized to offer sacrifice, but not offering it in righteousness, was cursed. It signifies, then, that the ordinances must be kept in the very way God has appointed; otherwise their Priesthood will prove a cursing instead of a blessing.—T 169.

67Any man who receives this Priesthood and tastes of the word of God, and of the powers of the world to come —any man that turns away from these things, apostatizes, and turns away from the Church of God, shall not in accordance with the revelations of the Lord to Joseph Smith, have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.—JD 23:331, Wilford Woodruff.

67I have no fears about this work being accomplished, but I have fears about many of the Latter-day Saints; because if we have the Holy Priesthood upon our heads and do not live our religion, of all men we are under the greatest condemnation.—JD 21:125, Wilford Woodruff.

67Brother Joseph used to counsel us in this wise: The moment you permit yourselves to lay aside any duty that God calls you to perform, to gratify your own desires, that moment you permit yourselves to become careless, you lay a foundation for apostasy. Be careful; understand you are called to a work, and when God requires you to do that work, do it. Another thing he said: In all your trials, tribulations and sickness, in all your sufferings, even unto death, be careful you don't betray God, be careful you don't betray the Priesthood, be careful you don't apostatize; because if you do, you will be sorry for it.—JD 21:284, Wilford Woodruff.

67Loss by Neglect of Duty. Brother Joseph remarked that any man, any Elder in this Church and Kingdom—who pursued a course whereby he would ignore or in other words refuse to obey any known law or commandment or duty—whenever a man did this, neglected any duty God required at his hand in attending meetings.

68filling missions, or obeying counsel, he laid a foundation to lead him to apostasy. They had misused the Priesthood sealed upon their heads. They had neglected to magnify their callings as Apostles or as Elders. They had used that Priesthood to attempt to build themselves up and to perform some other work besides the building up of the Kingdom of God.—JD 21:190, Wilford Woodruff.

688. FITNESS TO PRESIDE

68Test of Leadership and Ability. Every man should be willing to be presided over; and he is not fit to preside over others until he can submit sufficiently to the presidency of his brethren.—GD 164.

68Presiding Leadership Must Be Exemplary. The Lord will make a record also and out of that shall the whole world be judged. And you men bearing the Holy Priesthood—you Apostles, Presidents, Bishops, and High Priests in Zion—will be called upon to be judges of the people. Therefore, it is expected that you shall set the standard for them to attain to, and see that they shall live according to the spirit of the Gospel, do their duty, and keep the commandments of the Lord. We shall judge the people, first requiring them to do their duty. In order to do that, those who stand at the head must set the example. They must walk in the right path, and invite the people to follow them. They should not seek to drive the people; they should not seek to become rulers; but they should be brethren and leaders of the people.—GD 157.

68Leaders Must Understand Their Duties. Of course it is very necessary that those who preside in the Church should learn thoroughly their duties. There is not a man holding any position of authority in the Church who can perform his duty as he should in any other spirit than in the spirit of fatherhood and brotherhood toward those over whom he presides.—GD 150.

68 - 69The Method of Leadership. Those who have authority should not be rulers, nor dictators; they should not be arbitrary; they should gain the hearts, the confidence and love of those over whom they preside, by kindness and love unfeigned, by gentleness of spirit, by persuasion, by an example that is above the reproach and above the reach of unjust criticism. In this way, in the kindness of their hearts, in their love of their people, they lead them in the path of righteousness, and teach them the way of salvation, by saying to them, both by precept and example: Follow me, as I follow our Head. This is the duty of those who preside.—GD 151.

69Those who are called to office should enter upon the same in the strength of the Almighty, with a full determination to do all in their power to magnify their calling. Doubtless many are called who do not expect it, and who think they are utterly unfit to bear the responsibility placed upon them, and totally unable to magnify their calling. Let not such despond. There is a place for every man in the Kingdom of God, and no man should shrink from any position to which he is called, before he has proved whether he can fill it or not.—MS 16:139.

69In building up the Kingdom of God, which is the work assigned us, our whole attention and highest efforts are demanded, that we may be qualified, through the Holy Spirit, to magnify properly our respective callings in the Holy Priesthood.—JD 16:273, Lorenzo Snow.

699. THE PROMISE TO FAITHFUL PRIESTHOODBEARERS

69For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the Church and Kingdom, and the elect of God.

69 - 70And also all they who receive this Priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth my Father and he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the Priesthood. Therefore, all those who receive the Priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved. But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come. And woe unto all those who come not unto this Priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.—D&C 84:33-42.

7010. STANDARDS FOR SELF-EXAMINATION

70Every quorum member 5 should attempt to apply in his life the ideals set up in the preceding program. Every man should examine himself, at regular intervals, to determine to what extent he is living up to the ideals set up for a member of a Priesthood quorum. It may be helpful to employ the equivalent of a score card similar to the one here suggested. While it is a mechanical device, yet it may help a person to determine roughly the degree to which he is living up to the ideals set up in this department of quorum activity.

71If the members are willing, the committee having this department in charge may go over each card with the member concerned. As this enters rather intimately into the lives of men, great care should be exercised in making the request for such an examination and in commenting on the rating. Wherever it is requested, the department should give the necessary help in filling out the cards.—GQ 58-59.

71Every man should examine himself, at regular intervals, to determine to what extent he is living up to the ideals set up for a member of a Priesthood quorum.—SP 75.

71The Individual Priesthood-Bearer. To complete the task, the quorum committee on personal welfare should proceed deliberately by wise and gentle counsel, and by direct assistance, to help each member build up his weak points, so that he may be a fully fit member of a Priesthood quorum. In this service the fraternal spirit of the Priesthood will be of paramount importance. If this department does nothing else than to revive and to maintain the feeling of brotherhood that should prevail in every quorum, its creation will be more than justified.—GQ 59.

Footnotes

1. See The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation (1936), J. A. and L. D. Widtsoe, for a detailed enlargement on this theme.

2. However, members of the Priesthood should not overlook current opportunities in the Church, in adult education, and other means, to improve, training and skill on which personal welfare is dependent.

3. See also a later chapter on "The Home."

4. This is perhaps the most significant thing about Priesthood and the government of the Church, and is especially true of the General Authorities who sacrifice brilliant careers, in most cases, to respond to what is in secular circles, the ignominity of Church service.

5. See chapter on Melchizedek Quorum Administration for the detailed function and place of this committee.

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72Chapter 6

72THE RIGHT TO USE THE PRIESTHOOD

721. ALL WORTHY MEN MAY HOLD THE PRIESTHOOD

72The Lord, in His economy in spiritual things, has fixed that every man, according to his perseverance and faithfulness, will receive exaltation and glory in the eternal worlds—a fulness of the Priesthood and a fulness of the glory of God. This is the economy of God's system by which men and women can be exalted spiritually.—JD 19:349, Lorenzo Snow.

72Church Membership Pre-Requisite. The special privileges and blessings associated with the Church, the right to hold and exercise the Priesthood with its boundless possibilities and eternal powers, will be, as now they are, for those only who enter into the covenant and become part of the Church of Jesus Christ.—AF 368.

72Obtaining the Priesthood. All worthy male members have a claim upon the Priesthood. Candidates for the Priesthood are selected under the spirit of revelation by the presiding officers of the Church and its divisions. Those selected are then presented to the Church for approval, after which the ceremony or act of ordination takes place. The Priesthood is conferred by authorized holders of the Priesthood under the direction of the presiding officers, by the laying on of hands. All are "to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto him."—D&C 20:60.

72Those who receive the Priesthood should be able, in this dispensation, to trace it in unbroken line to Joseph Smith or Oliver Cowdery, who received it from heavenly beings. Excommunication from the Church removes the Priesthood from the sinful man.

72In practice, the first office in the Priesthood, that of Deacon, is conferred on boys twelve years of age or over; and on mature men, recently converted to the Church. When the boy or man has proved himself faithful, he is ordained successively to the higher offices in the Priesthood.

73Thus the Church provides progressive experience and advancement for those holding the Priesthood.—PC 136.

73Those who are inactive cannot expect advancement in the Priesthood until they again participate actively in Church matters.

732. WHO MAY USE THE PRIESTHOOD

73But behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many who have been ordained among you, whom I have called, but few of them are chosen.—D&C 95:5.

73Differential Jurisdictions. I will inform you that it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church, or any one, to receive instruction for those in authority, higher than themselves; therefore you will see the impropriety of giving heed to them; but if any person has a vision or a visitation from a heavenly messenger, it must be for his own benefit and instruction; for the fundamental principles, government, and doctrine of the Church are vested in the keys of the Kingdom. Respecting an apostate, or one who has been cut off from the Church, and who wishes to come in again, the law of our Church expressly says that such shall repent, and be baptized, and be admitted as at the first.—T 21.

73Every man holding the Priesthood of God, may exercise its power in behalf of himself and family. He may seek revelation for his own guidance; he may administer to his own family; teach, rebuke and bless them, and he may bear witness everywhere of the truth of the Gospel and seek to help his fellowmen. In all this, his Priesthood will sustain him.

73 - 74But no man may exercise the power of his Priesthood for the Church except by appointment of those who hold the keys of the Priesthood—that is, those called to presiding positions. A Priest has authority to baptize, but may not exercise that power, unless called to do so by the authority presiding over the division of the Church in which he lives. Thus, confusion is avoided, and order is preserved, without in any degree violating the rights of the Priesthood. Every holder of the Priesthood may and should use it, always, for his personal welfare; but officially for the Church only when authorized to do so.—PC 136.

74Function Rests on Jurisdiction and Authorization. An Elder has the right to baptize, but in a ward of the Church he may not do so unless authorized by the Bishop of the ward, who holds the keys of the authority in that ward. That is, there is a distinction between the Priesthood and the keys of the Priesthood. The presiding authorities in a Priesthood quorum or in any organization of the Church are the ones who hold the keys of that quorum or organization. This is necessary to preserve order in the activities of the Church.—SP 20.

74No one may officiate in any ordinance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unless he has been ordained to the particular order or office of Priesthood, by those possessing the requisite authority. Thus, no man receives the Priesthood except under the hands of one who holds that Priesthood himself; that one must have obtained it from others previously commissioned; and so every bearer of the Priesthood today can trace his authority to the hands of Joseph Smith the Prophet, who received his ordination under the hands of the Apostles Peter, James, and John; and they had been ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ. That men who are called of God, to the authority of the ministry on earth, may have been selected for such appointment even before they took mortal bodies, is evident from the Scriptures.—AF 189.

74 - 75The leading fact to be remembered is that the Priesthood is greater than any of its offices; and that any man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood may, by virtue of its possession, perform any ordinance pertaining thereto, or connection therewith, when called upon to do so by one holding the proper authority, which proper authority is vested in the President of the Church, or in any whom he may designate. Every officer in the Church is under his direction, and he is directed of God. He is also selected of the Lord to be the head of the Church, and so becomes, when the Priesthood of the Church (which includes its officers and its members), shall have so accepted and upheld him. (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107:22.) No man can justly presume to have authority to preside, merely by virtue of his Priesthood . . . for in addition, he must be chosen and accepted by the Church. . . . Such action was repudiated by the Twelve, the quorum in authority, after the martyrdom, and by the whole Church. An office in the Priesthood is a calling, like Apostle, High Priest, Seventy, Elder, and derives all its authority from the Priesthood; these officers hold different callings, but the same Priesthood.—GD 174.

75We have found occasionally that men blessed with some peculiar gift of the spirit have exercised it in an unwise—shall we say, improper—manner. For instance: brethren strongly gifted with the power of healing have visited far and near amongst the Saints (to the neglect sometimes of other duties), until it has almost become a business with them, and their visits to the homes of the Saints have assumed somewhat the character of those of a physician, and the people have come to regard the power so manifested as if coming from man, and he himself has sometimes grown so to feel, and not that he was simply an instrument in the hands of God of bringing blessings to their house. This view is exceedingly unfortunate, when indulged in, and is apt to result in the displeasure of the Lord. It has sometimes ended in the brother possessing this gift, if he encouraged such a feeling, losing his power to bless and heal. Departures from the recognized order and discipline of the Church should therefore be discountenanced and discouraged.—GD 147.

75 - 76We have been told of an incident which occurred a few weeks ago, when a Bishop's counselor (and therefore a High Priest), from a remote settlement, while visiting Salt Lake City, refused to administer to his sister's child who was dangerously sick, for the reason that he was outside of his own ward. The brother must have had a misunderstanding of the authority of his office or he was over-diffident. Whatever the cause he was not justified in his refusal. His authority to bless in the name of the Lord was not confined to his ward; no Elder's opportunity for doing a purely good deed should be confined to a ward or any other limit, and when he went into a house and the head of that household made such a request of him it was clearly not only his privilege or right but also his duty to comply.—IE, April 1937, 242.

76Sphere and Importance of the Patriarchal Order. The rights of fatherhood in all faithful, worthy men are paramount, and should be recognized by all other men holding positions or callings in the Priesthood. To make this idea plainer we will say, as an example of our idea, we do not consider it proper in a Bishop or other officer to suggest that the son of such a man (the son himself not being the head of a family, but living with his father) be called upon a mission without first consulting the father. The Priesthood was originally exercised in the patriarchal order; those who held it exercised their powers firstly by right of their fatherhood. It is so with the great Elohim. This first and strongest claim on our love, reverence and obedience is based on the fact that He is the Father, the Creator of all mankind.—GD 147.

763. AUTHORITATIVE ORDINATION NECESSARY

76 - 77Ordination Requires the Imposition of Hands. Ordination of men to the ministry as sanctified by scriptural precedent and established by direct revelation of God's will, is to be effected through the gift of prophecy and by the imposition of hands by those who are in authority. By prophecy is meant the right to receive and the power to interpret manifestations of the divine will. That the laying on of hands is usual as a part of the ordinance is seen in many scriptural instances; nevertheless the Scriptures record numerous ordinations to the offices of the Priesthood without specific statement concerning the imposition of hands or any other details. Such instances do not warrant the conclusion that the laying on of hands was omitted; and in the light of modern revelation it is clear that the imposition of hands was a usual accompaniment of ordination as also of confirming blessings and of bestowing the Holy Ghost.—AF 182; Acts 1:21-26; 8:14-20; 19:1-6.

77George Q. Cannon's Testimony Concerning the Prophet. God revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith the necessity of the Priesthood, and until the Priesthood was bestowed, though he had the gifts which constitute a Prophet, Revelator and Seer prior to receiving it, having had the gift of prophecy and revelations from God, and having exercised the Seer's gifts by looking through the Urim and Thummim—he never attempted to act in any capacity beyond that in which God authorized him to act. Although he possessed the gifts that I have referred to, he never attempted to act in any ordinance of the house of God, or that belongs to the Church of God, until he received authority to do so. And that authority was not conferred upon him when he first saw angels and had some of the gifts of which I have spoken. It required the laying on of the hands of some personage or personages who had the authority of the Holy Priesthood.—JD 23:359, George Q. Cannon.

77Record of Authoritative Ordination in the Book of Mormon. And now, Alma was their High Priest, he being the founder of their church.

77And it came to pass that none received authority to preach or to teach except it were given by him from God. Therefore he consecrated all their Priests and all their Teachers; and none were consecrated except they were just men.—Mosiah 23:16, 17.

77And it came to pass that king Limhi and many of his people were desirous to be baptized; but there was none in the land that had authority from God. And Ammon declined doing this thing, considering himself an unworthy servant.

77Therefore they did not at that time form themselves into a church, waiting upon the Spirit of the Lord. Now they were desirous to become even as Alma and his brethren, who had fled into the wilderness.—Mosiah 23:33, 34.

78Necessity of the Gift of the Holy Ghost in Ordaining to and Organizing the Priesthood. Every Elder, Priest, Teacher, or Deacon is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto him; and he is to be ordained by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is in the one who ordains him.—D&C 20:60.

78We believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost being enjoyed now, as much as it was in the Apostles' days; we believe that it (the gift of the Holy Ghost) is necessary to make and to organize the Priesthood, that no man can be called to fill any office in the ministry without it; we also believe in prophecy, in tongues, in visions, and in revelations, in gifts, and in healings; and that these things cannot be enjoyed without the gifts of the Holy Ghost.—T 243.

78Vote of Local Churches Required for Ordination. No person is to be ordained to any office in this Church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church.—D&C 20:65.

784. KEYS OF THE PRIESTHOOD

78Distinction Between Keys of the Priesthood and Priesthood. The Priesthood in general is the authority given to man to act for God. Every man ordained to any degree of the Priesthood, has this authority delegated to him.

78 - 79But it is necessary that every act performed under this authority shall be done at the proper time and place, in the proper way, and after the proper order. The power of directing these labors constitutes the keys of the Priesthood. In their fulness, the keys are held by only one person at a time, the Prophet and the President of the Church. He may delegate any portion of this power to another, in which case that person holds the keys of that particular labor. Thus, the President of the Temple, the President of a Stake, the Bishop of a ward, the President of a mission, the President of a quorum, each holds the keys of the labors performed in that particular body or locality. His Priesthood is not increased by this special appointment, for a Seventy who presides over a mission has no more Priesthood than a Seventy who labors under his direction; and the President of an Elders' quorum, for example, has no more Priesthood than any member of that quorum. But he holds the power of directing the official labors performed in the mission or the quorum, or in other words, the keys of that division of that work. So it is throughout all the ramifications of the Priesthood—a distinction must be carefully made between the general authority, and the directing of the labors performed by that authority.—RQA Supplement 19, 20.

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78 - 79Chapter 7

80PRIESTHOOD AND THE HOME

801. THE PATRIARCHAL ORDER IN THE CHURCH

80The Home: Unit of Society. The home, composed of father, mother and children, is the unit of all society. The human family is but the total of individual families or homes. The home is the ultimate unit of the Church. In the end as in the beginning the home will be the unit of progress and government.

80This gives to the home a paramount place of importance. As the homes are, so are the wards, stakes and at last the Church itself. The teachings and ideals of the home become eventually those of the Church. When the homes teach the Gospel, practice virtue, and build character, the whole Church will be well taught, virtuous, and strong in pursuit of righteousness.

80Family Activities Are Basic to the Church. The home is the place to teach the Gospel, by precept and example, and above all by practice, by living our religion. If this is done in the home, we need have no fear for the faith of the coming generation and may be assured that our children will love and practice the Gospel.—Heber J. Grant.

80Zion is built of perfected family circles.

80All devices, divine and human, for man's betterment, to be effective, must recognize the training that comes out of the home. Indeed, all the organizations of the Church will be found to root in family activities.

802. THE ORGANIZATION OF THE FAMILY

80The Father As Spokesman and Leader. The family, a group of intelligent beings, must be organized, else chaos results. Just as there is but one Priesthood, but many offices in it, so every member of the family circle has equal claims upon the blessings of the home, but is assigned different tasks in connection with family life.

81There must be a presiding authority in the family. The father is the head or president, or spokesman of the family. This arrangement is of divine origin. It also conforms to physical and physiological laws under which humanity live. A home, as viewed by the Church, is composed of a family group, so organized as to be presided over by the father, under the authority and in the spirit of the Priesthood conferred upon him.

81The position which men occupy in the family, and especially those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, is one of first importance and should be clearly recognized and maintained in the order and with the authority which God conferred upon man in placing him at the head of his household.

81The Dignity of Priesthood Leadership in the Home. There is no higher authority in matters relating to the family organization, and especially when that organization is presided over by one holding the Higher Priesthood, than that of the father. This authority is time honored, and among the people of God in all dispensations it has been highly respected and often emphasized by the teachings of the Prophets who were inspired of God. The Patriarchal order is of divine origin, and will continue throughout time and eternity. There is then a particular reason why men, women and children should understand this order and this authority in the households of the people of God, and seek to make it what God intended it to be, a qualification and preparation for the highest exaltation for His children. In the home the presiding authority is always vested in the father, and in all home affairs and family matters there is no other authority paramount.—JI, March 1, 1902, Joseph F. Smith.

81 - 82In all of our study of this most interesting subject it must be well understood that the Priesthood is operative for the welfare of the entire human family, not for one class or sex. Men and women share alike in its blessings and resultant joy; but for the sake of order and wise government our Heavenly Father delegated the power of Presidency in this order to His sons. Therefore, man holds the Priesthood and stands before his Maker as the one who is responsible for all official acts in Church capacity for human welfare.—PW 1, Leah D. Widtsoe.

82If you ever secure a union in any family in Zion, if you ever secure that heavenly union which is necessary to exist there, you have got to bind that family together in one, and there has got to be the Spirit of the Lord in the head of that family, and he should possess that light and that intelligence, which, if carried out in the daily life and conduct of those individuals, will prove the salvation of that family, for he holds their salvation in his hands.—JD 4:243, Lorenzo Snow.

82Every family is a kingdom, a nation, a government, within itself, to a certain extent; and the head of the family is the legislator, the judge, the governor. This is what constitutes the Patriarchal office, and was originally the sole government for all the inhabitants on the earth.... There is sufficient of Patriarchal government still remaining to give a strong impression to the character of the general government in which the families reside; for impressions and habits formed in the cradle, in the mother's arms, and under the father's eye, are vivid, strong, and lasting, and will sustain their influence for good or evil, through life; and the nation in which they live will partake of that influence; hence the importance of a wise and judicious dispensation in every family.—MS 14:290.

82 - 83The Father Presides in the Family. It sometimes happens that the elders are called in to administer to the members of a family. Among these Elders there may be Presidents of Stakes, Apostles, or even members of the First Presidency of the Church. It is not proper under these circumstances for the father to stand back and expect the Elders to direct the administration of this important ordinance. The father is there. It is his right and it is his duty to preside. (If the father be absent, the mother should request the presiding authority present to take charge.) The father presides at the table, at prayer, and gives general directions relating to his family life whoever may be present. Wives and children should be taught to feel that the patriarchal order in the Kingdom of God has been established for a wise and beneficent purpose, and should sustain the head of the household and encourage him in the discharge of his duties, and do all in their power to aid him in the exercise of the rights and privileges which God has bestowed upon the head of the home. This patriarchal order has its divine spirit and purpose, and those who disregard it under one pretext or another are out of harmony with the spirit of God's laws as they are ordained for recognition in the home. It is not merely a question of who is perhaps the best qualified. Neither is it wholly a question of who is living the most worthy life. It is a question largely of law and order, and its importance is seen often from the fact that the authority remains and is respected long after a man is really unworthy to exercise it.—GD 287.

833. WOMAN'S SHARE IN THE PRIESTHOOD

83Woman Shares Blessings of Priesthood. The Priesthood is for the benefit of all members of the Church. Men have no greater claim than women upon the blessings that issue from the Priesthood and accompany its possession.

83Woman does not hold the Priesthood, but she is a partaker of the blessings of the Priesthood. That is, the man holds the Priesthood, performs the priestly duties of the Church, but his wife enjoys with him every other privilege derived from the possession of the Priesthood. This is made clear, as an example, in the Temple service of the Church. The ordinances of the Temple are distinctly of Priesthood character, yet women have access to all of them, and the highest blessings of the Temple are conferred only upon a man and his wife jointly.—PC 81.

83 - 84The Prophet Joseph Smith made this relationship clear. He spoke of delivering the keys of the Priesthood to the Church, and said that the faithful members of the Relief Society should receive them with their husbands, that the Saints whose integrity has been tried and proved faithful, might know how to ask the Lord and receive an answer; for according to his prayers, God had appointed him elsewhere.

84He exhorted the sisters always to concentrate their faith and prayers, for, and place confidence in their husbands, whom God has appointed for them to honor, and in those faithful men whom God has placed at the head of the Church to lead His people; that we should arm and sustain them with our prayers; for the keys of the Kingdom are about to be given to them, that they may be able to detect everything false; as well as to all the Elders who shall prove their integrity in due season.—T 226.

844. THE IMPORTANCE OF MOTHERHOOD

84Why should God give His sons a power that is denied His daughters? Should they not be equal in His sight as to status and opportunity to perform the labors of life? Since women are just as necessary in life as are men (indeed life were impossible without them), justice demands their recognition before their Father in Heaven. Surely, a just God can have no favorites!

84This division of responsibility is for a wise and noble purpose. Our Father in Heaven has bestowed upon His daughters a gift of equal importance and power, which gift, if exercised in its fulness, will occupy their entire life on earth so that they can have no possible longing for that which they do not possess. The "gift" referred to is that of motherhood—the noblest, most soul-satisfying of all earthly experiences. If this power is exercised righteously, woman has no time nor desire for anything greater, for there is nothing greater on earth! This does not mean that women may not use to the full their special gifts, for they are possessed of human free agency to the same extent as are men. Also, the more woman exercises her innate qualifications the greater is her power for motherhood. Woman may claim other activity, but motherhood should take precedence in her entire scheme of life.

84 - 85The Gift of Motherhood. The gift and responsibilities of motherhood make it desirable that women should be freed from the obligations of active service in the Priesthood. A fair and wise adjustment has been made by the Lord, so that women may have the freedom from unnecessary Church responsibility in order to magnify their great calling as mothers of men.

85Woman's Grave Responsibility. The training of the human soul for advancement and joy here and hereafter calls for the greater possible powers of mind and heart. Psychologists and students generally admit that the first years of life are crucial in determining what shall be the future of the child, physically, mentally and spiritually; that grave responsibility belongs, by right of sex, to the women who bear and nurture the whole race. Surely no right thinking woman could crave more responsibility nor greater proof of innate powers than that! Such power entrusted to women proves conclusively that they have been recognized and trusted. Our Father even chose a Daughter of Eve to be the earth-mother and guide of His Only Begotten Son, and thus honored womanhood for all time and eternity!

85Let women everywhere pause and consider well this great truth: Theirs is the right to bear and rear to maturity, as well as to influence for good or ill, the precious souls of men. This power is truly priceless, and proves that our Father is entirely fair and does prove His love and trust of His daughters as well as His sons.—PW.

85The Spirit of Motherhood. Women who through no fault of their own cannot exercise the gift of motherhood directly, may do so vicariously. Motherhood may be exercised as universally and vicariously as Priesthood. Countless neglected children are in need of motherly care.

85 - 86The mothers are the moving instruments in the hands of Providence to guide the destinies of nations. Let the mothers of any nation teach their children not to make war, the children would grow up and never enter into it. Let the mothers teach their children. "War, war upon your enemies, yes, war to the hilt!" and they will be filled with this spirit. Consequently, you see at once what I wish to impress upon your mind is, that the mothers are the machinery that give zest to the whole man, and guide the destinies and lives of men upon the earth.—D 199.

86 - 87Women Are Not Inferior. Motherhood lies at the foundation of happiness in the home, and of prosperity in the nation. God has laid upon men and women very sacred obligations with respect to motherhood, and they are obligations that cannot be disregarded without invoking divine displeasure. The word and the law of God are as important for women who would reach wise conclusions as they are for men; and women should study and consider the problems of this great latter-day work from the standpoint of God's revelations, and as they may be actuated by His Spirit, which it is their right to receive through the medium of sincere and heartfelt prayer. If there is any man who ought to merit the curse of Almighty God it is the man who neglects the mother of his child, the wife of his bosom, the one who has made sacrifice of her very life over and over again, for him and his children. That is, of course, assuming that the wife is a pure and faithful mother and wife. I have often said, and will repeat it, that the love of a true mother comes nearer being like the love of God than any other kind of love. The father may love his children, too; and next to the love that a mother feels for her child, unquestionably and rightfully, too, comes the love that the father feels for his child. There are people fond of saving that women are the weaker vessels. I don't believe it. Physically, they may be; but spiritually, morally, religiously and in faith, what man can match a woman who is really convinced? Daniel had faith to sustain him in the lion's den, but women have seen their sons torn limb from limb, and endured every torture satanic cruelty could invent, because they believed. They are always more willing to make sacrifices, and are the peers of men in stability, godliness, morality and faith. No man will ever enter heaven until he has consummated his mission; for we have come here to be conformed to the likeness of God. He made us in the beginning in His own image and in His own likeness, and He made us male and female. We never could be in the image of God if we were not both male and female. Read the scriptures, and you will see it for yourselves as God has said it.—Joseph F. Smith.

87When men express such sentiments regarding women one must know that such a feeling as sex-jealousy is set aside. Individual exceptions may occur, but that proves nothing. If women are expected to exercise all their faculties and magnify any gift they may possess, and that without any feeling of prejudice; if men and women admittedly stand equal before the bar of man's and God's judgment, then what more is there to be desired—and of what may either one be jealous?—PW.

875. CHURCH ACTIVITY FOR MEN AND WOMEN

87No Sex Rivalry in the Church. When the Priesthood is understood and exercised righteously there can be no "sex antagonism." It is impossible, for woman is recognized as a free agent and magnifies her sphere of true womanhood because she chooses to do so, not because she is forced into it. Brigham Young has said:

87"We have sisters here who, if they had the privilege of studying, would make just as good mathematicians or accountants as any man; and we think they ought to have the privilege to study those branches of knowledge that may develop the powers with which they are endowed. We believe that women are useful, not only to sweep houses, wash dishes, make beds, and raise babies, but that they should stand behind the counter, study law or physics, or become good bookkeepers and be able to do the business in any accounting house, and all this to enlarge their sphere of usefulness for the benefit of society at large. In following these things they but answer the design of their creation."

87On another occasion, he said:

87"Now, sisters, I want you to vote, because you are the characters that rule the ballot box."

87Also:

87 - 88"Every man or woman that has talent and hides it will be called a slothful servant. Improve day by day upon the capital you have. In proportion as we are capacitated to receive, so it is our duty to do. Go to school and study, have the girls go, and teach them chemistry, so that they can take any of these rocks and analyze them. The sciences can be learned without much difficulty. I want to have schools to entertain the minds of the people and draw them out to learn the arts and sciences." 1

886. THE CLAIM OF WIVES AND CHILDREN

88Verily, thus saith the Lord, in addition to the laws of the Church concerning women and children, those who belong to the Church, who have lost their husbands or fathers, women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken; and if they are not found transgressors they shall have fellowship in the Church. And if they are not faithful they shall not have fellowship in the Church; yet they may remain upon their inheritances according to the laws of the land. All children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age.—D&C 83:1-4.

88And again, you shall be ordained to assist my servant Oliver Cowdery to do the work of printing, and of selecting and writing books for the schools in this Church, that little children also may receive instruction before me as is pleasing unto me.—D&C 55:4.

88And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.

88For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized.

89And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.

89And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.—D&C 68:25-28.

89But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.

89You have not taught your children light and truth, according to the commandments; and that wicked one hath power, as yet, over you, and this is the cause of your affliction.—D&C 93:40, 42.

897. MUTUAL RESPECT UNDER THE PRIESTHOOD

89Man's Respect for Woman. The possession of the Priesthood and its consequent family leadership should make men very considerate of women. The man who arrogantly feels that he is better than his wife because he holds the Priesthood, has failed utterly to comprehend the meaning and purpose of Priesthood. He needs to remember that the Lord loves His daughters quite as well as His sons. It is but a small and puny-souled man who could wish to humiliate women as a class and keep them as an inferior sex; for men can never rise superior to the women who bear and nurture them. (Read DC 121:41-46.)

89Priesthood Tends to Make Men Kind, Courteous and Chivalrous. Until a selfish, individual interest is banished from our minds, and we become interested in the general welfare, we shall never be able to magnify our Holy Priesthood as we should—JD 11:115, Brigham Young.

89The Priesthood bearer should ever be kind, courteous and chivalrous toward women, the mothers of men. As these virtues are practiced in the home, boys will grow up with tender respect for all women as well as their own mothers and sisters and become worthy men in the Priesthood.

89 - 90Woman's Respect for the Priesthood. Similarly, women must give due respect to the Priesthood and its bearers, and must train their sons and daughters to recognize and honor its authority.

90An understanding of the power of the Priesthood and its proper use precludes all feeling of any possible jealousy by either men or women. Where women choose to magnify their motherhood, either direct or vicarious, progress and happiness is the sure result. Indeed, a woman who would sacrifice the greatest of all earth professions, that of motherhood, which is hers by right of sex, for the silly reason of proving that she can do a man's work as well as any man, or for any other reason, is something less than a true woman, and is to be pitied as well as condemned.

90It is undeniable that there are weak men as well as weak women, and it is equally true that such men are often attracted to and marry strong, capable women; and vice versa. What then? Brigham Young partly answered the question when he said, on one occasion: "I have counseled every woman of this Church to let her husband be her file leader; he leads her, and those above him in the Priesthood lead him. But I never counseled a woman to follow her husband to hell... I am sanguine and most emphatic on that subject.... If a man is determined to expose the lives of his friends, let that man go to the devil and to destruction alone."—D 201.

90In the Church no adjustment can be made. The Priesthood always presides and must, for the sake of order. The women of a congregation of auxiliary—many of them—may be wiser, far greater in mental powers, even greater in actual power of leadership than the men who preside over them. That signifies nothing. The Priesthood is not bestowed on the basis of mental power but is given to good men and they exercise it by right of divine gift, called upon by the leaders of the Church. Woman has her gift of equal magnitude, and that is bestowed on the simple and weak as well as upon those who are great and strong. Sex enters here and is indisputable. It is eternal, so why quarrel with it? A wiser power than any on earth understands why a spirit in the far off beginning was male or female. On earth there is waiting work for each to do.

91The Freedom of Women in the Church. Never in history have women enjoyed the freedom of thought and action accorded the women of this Church. From the day of its restoration women have been accorded their full religious franchise, and in the temples of the restored Gospel a man may not partake of the highest ordinances without his wife by his side. In all life pursuits she is given her entire independence.

91This gives to woman a mighty responsibility which, if she honors and uses, will be increased in power upon her; but if she ignores it or treats it lightly or fails to magnify it, she may lose that which she now possesses and thereby forfeit her birthright. For this great privilege women of this Church should be eternally grateful and willing to use and cherish this precious and priceless relationship. Where much is given, much is expected.—PW.

91One great duty rests upon woman: To encourage her husband to perform all his duties in the Priesthood.

91Every officer in the Church, from the Deacon to the Apostle, should realize that it is his duty to endeavor to administer blessings by virtue of the calling of God which is upon him; he ought to feel thus, and every sister that is the wife of such an husband should feel, if she has received with him her blessings in the house of the Lord, that it is her privilege and duty to administer blessings, comfort and happiness to her husband, to her children, to her family and household. Every one in all the Church should be filled with a spirit of blessing. The authority of the Priesthood should cause a gushing forth from the fountain of the heart, a bubbling forth of streams of blessing, of consolation, of comfort and of rejoicing, each should try to help and benefit the other in every possible way.—JD 26:100, Franklin D. Richards.

91 - 92The Test of a Century. The homes of today, as of the past, in which the Priesthood is held and exercised by the fathers and sons and honored by the mothers and daughters are the ones where, almost without exception, peace and mutual understanding make life a continuous round of progressive accomplishment and joy for all. This condition is so general that it may be given as a rule. Exceptions there may be, but they are rare and prove nothing, for these failures may be due to other causes. The rule is so general, in fact, that it should be taken by the women and girls of today as a guide for future success in home building. If you would have a truly happy home in which children may be nurtured for future progress, then do your full share to this end, but in addition encourage your men-folk to honor and exercise their Priesthood. It is in reality a key that may unlock the door of joy and accomplishment so that all may progress together.—PW.

92The Home Evening. To bring about family strength and unity, the Church looks with favor upon a family gathering once a week, or at other regular intervals. "At this time parents and children gather around the family hearth in social and religious communion. In this day when socials, parties, dinners, business interests, etc., all tend to lead away from home associations, the adoption of a Home Evening is highly advisable. It furnishes an opportunity for parents to become better acquainted with their children and for children to know and to appreciate their parents. Thus, instead of a place of faultfinding, surliness and dissatisfaction, the home may become a mutual admiration group, gladdened continually by the sunshine of love and affection.

92We commend the wards and the stakes that are making special effort to make home life what it should be—a haven of peace, in which faith in God, respect and deference for one another and loyalty to truth and righteousness are pervading virtues.—HEH 2,3.

92No Privileged Class in the Church. Priesthood is to be used for the benefit of the entire human family, for the upbuilding of men, women and children alike. There is indeed no privileged class or sex within the true Church of Christ; and in reality there can be no discrimination between the sexes only as human beings make it or permit it. Men have their work to do and their powers to exercise for the benefit of all the members of the Church regardless of sex or age.

93So with woman: Her special gifts are to be exercised for the benefit and uplift of the race. This equally shared responsibility makes men and women real "team-mates" in that which makes for human progress. Each one is a complement to the other and neither sex alone may function completely in the world's work.

93In the varied activities of the Church, women are given full participation. As leaders and teachers in the auxiliary organizations of the Church, they perform duties most important for Church welfare. Their service in the home, as the bearers and rearers of children, is in nowise inferior to that rendered by men in the discharge of their more public duties.

93All must understand that the Priesthood when exercised righteously unites men and women; it never separates them, unless either group, by their own acts, cuts off its power. Truly, "neither is the man without the woman nor the woman without the man in the Lord."—PW.

93There is no act of a Latter-day Saint—no duty required—no time given, exclusive and independent of the Priesthood.—D 133.

93Clearly then, every righteous task for the uplift of the race, whether within or without the Church or the household, is a Priesthood activity.

Footnotes

1. This advice given by Brigham Young to women was always qualified by the statement that no public activity should interfere in any way with their first duty as wife, mother and home-maker. Motherhood is woman's greatest calling. If for any reason that is impossible, then she should be free to exercise her gifts in any public capacity.

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94Chapter 8

94THE LAW OF THE PRIESTHOOD

941. PRIESTHOOD: A BROTHERHOOD

94The members of the Priesthood, of the same spiritual descent, holding the same beliefs, having the same aim, and possessing the same power, form a mighty brotherhood, in time to become the most powerful on earth, guided by the simple and pure principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.—SP 50.

94The Quorum Ideal is Brotherhood. The high ideal of a Priesthood quorum is that of true brotherhood, under the laws and requirements of the Lord. The spirit of Priesthood is the spirit of brotherhood. A group of brethren working toward such an ideal becomes irresistible in overcoming difficulties and achieving desired results. The world is waiting for the service of such brotherly organizations. Peace on earth will come when men look upon one another as brethren.—IE, 1938, 203.

94The Law of Brotherly Love. The law of brotherly love is the first in all proper Priesthood activities. By love, unbounded help may be given those who are in need of assistance.

94Gossip about the weaknesses of others is the usual beginning of faultfinding; and faultfinding, a mild name for slander, breaks down the feeling of brotherhood. Members of the Priesthood should hold themselves aloof from gossip, and anything else unworthy of brethren.—PC 170.

942. MUTUAL HELP

94Through Teaching and Mutual Esteem. But, verily I say unto you, teach one another according to the office wherewith I have appointed you;

94And let every man esteem his brother as himself, and practise virtue and holiness before me.

95And again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself.—D&C 38:23-25.

95And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the Kingdom.

95Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the Gospel, in all things that pertain unto the Kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

95Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—

95That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.—D&C 88:77-80.

95Economic Welfare. Nothing will make the quorum member think so much of his standing in the quorum as the interest that may be shown the unfortunate member by his associate brethren in bringing to him real happiness in the knowledge that a man can take care of himself and his family because he has a job or he has a farm or an opportunity to earn his own living.

95The quorum can therefore function in a most effective way in assisting the Church in a solution of these individual problems.—IE, 1937, 510, Melvin J. Ballard. 1

953. THE UNITY OF THE PRIESTHOOD

95Unity of Purpose. Elders, Seventies and High Priests have been ordained to offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood. Therefore, they should look upon themselves as parts of one organization having one final purpose.

96To bring about the closer understanding of the different offices of the Priesthood, it might be well for them to have occasional joint social programs, to exchange programs, and in other ways to achieve a more cordial association of purpose and plans.—PM 64.

96Brigham Young on the Unity of the Assembled Priesthood. It may be considered that we are a mixed congregation, consisting of Bishops, Seventies, High Priests, Elders, the Twelve, and the First Presidency; but I consider we are, strictly speaking, a meeting of the Elders of Israel; for if we were to be instructed in the duties of any one of these quorums, that instruction would be equally good for all.—D 149.

96Unity Through Conformity With the Truth. We can make advancement only upon the principles of eternal truth. In proportion as we become established upon the foundation of these principles which have been revealed from the heavens in the latter days, and determine to accomplish the purposes of the Lord, will we progress, and the Lord will all the more exalt and magnify us before the world and make us to assume our real position and standing in the midst of the earth.—GD 141.

96 - 97Duty of Priesthood Councils to Seek Truth. The truth will never divide councils of the Priesthood. It will never divide Presidents from their Counselors, nor Counselors from their Presidents, nor members of the Church from one another, nor from the Church. The truth will unite us and cement us together. It will make us strong, for it is a foundation that cannot be destroyed. Therefore, when Bishops and their Counselors do not see eye to eye, or when Presidents and their Counselors have any difference whatever in their sentiments or in their policy, it is their duty to get together, to go before the Lord together and humble themselves before Him until they get revelation from the Lord and see the truth alike, that they may go before their people unitedly. It is the duty of the Presidents of Stakes and High Councilors to meet often, to pray together, to counsel together, to learn each other's spirit, to understand each other, and unite together, that there may be no dissension nor division among them. The same with the Bishops and their Counselors. The same may be said of the councils of the Priesthood from first to last. Let them get together and become united in their understanding of what is right, just and true, and then go as one man to the accomplishment of the purpose they have in view.—GD 156.

97The Significance of Unity in Decisions and Their Subsequent Administration. And every decision made by... these quorums must be by the unanimous voice of the same; that is, every member in each quorum must be agreed to its decisions, in order to make their decisions of the same power or validity one with the other—a majority may form a quorum when circumstances render it impossible to be otherwise. Unless this is the case, their decisions are not entitled to the same blessings which the decisions of a quorum of three presidents were anciently.... The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long-suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity.... And in case that any decision of these quorums is made in unrighteousness, it may be brought before a general assembly of the several quorums, which constitute the spiritual authorities of the Church; 2 otherwise there can be no appeal from their decision.—D&C 107:27-32.

974. LOVE: THE LAW OF THE PRIESTHOOD

97Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

97Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

98That the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

98That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the Priesthood or the authority of that man.

98Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the Saints, and to fight against God.

98We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

98Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

98No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the Priesthood, only by persuasion, by longsuffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

98By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

98Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

98That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

98Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the Priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

98 - 99The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.—D&C 121:34-36.

99Forgiveness. Even as the Lord forgives His children, so must we forgive our brethren and sisters. If they have offended us, we should be more eagerly ready to forgive them. We are not to sit in judgment upon our fellowmen. The Lord has so spoken: "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men." (Doctrine and Covenants 64:10.) When a person has made restitution, all should forget his wrong, and it should not be gossiped about.—SP 77.

995. HOW TO EXERCISE THE PRIESTHOOD

99No man should be oppressed. No authority of the Priesthood can be administered or exerted in any degree of unrighteousness, without offending God. Therefore, when we deal with men, we should not deal with them with prejudice in our minds against them. We should dismiss prejudice, dispel anger from our hearts; and when we try our brethren for membership or fellowship in the Church, we should do it dispassionately, charitably, lovingly, kindly, with a view to save and not to destroy. 3 That is our business; our business is to save the world, to save mankind; to bring them into harmony with the laws of God and with the principles of righteousness and of justice and truth, that they may be saved in the Kingdom of God, and become eventually, through obedience to the ordinances of the Gospel, heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. That is our mission.—GD 149.

99 - 100The Prophet's Comments on Rebuking the Brethren. I frequently rebuke and admonish my brethren, and that because I love them, not because I wish to incur their displeasure, or mar their happiness. Such a course of conduct is not calculated to gain the good will of all, but rather the ill will of many; therefore, the situation in which I stand is an important one; so, you see, brethren, the higher the authority, the greater the difficulty of the station; but these rebukes and admonitions become necessary, from the perverseness of the brethren, for their temporal as well as spiritual welfare. They actually constitute a part of the duties of my station and calling. 4 Others have other duties to perform, that are important, and far more enviable, and may be just as good, like the feet and hands, in their relation to the human body—neither can claim priority, or say to the other, I have no need of you. After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.—T 112.

100Personal Action as a Directing Force. Authoritative rule is not the proper code by which to govern Saints, but rather we seek to rule in the spirit of humility, wisdom and goodness, teaching not so much by theory as by practice. Though one teach with the eloquence of an angel, one's good acts and good examples, constantly manifesting whole-heartedness for the interests of the people, teach much more effectively, if not more eloquently. Very few indeed have enough moral courage to be strictly honest, faithful, virtuous and honorable in all positions—those few will hold the Priesthood and receive its fulness, but no others.—BFRLS 193.

100The Prophet's Method. Some years ago, in Nauvoo, a gentleman in my hearing, a member of the Legislature, asked Joseph Smith how it was that he was enabled to govern so many people, and to preserve such perfect order; remarking at the same time that it was impossible for them to do it anywhere else. Mr. Smith remarked that it was very easy to do that. "How?" responded the gentleman: "to us it is very difficult." Mr. Smith replied: "I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves."—MS 13:339, John Taylor.

101He (God) gave Joseph to understand that he held the Priesthood, which Priesthood was after the order of God, after the order of Melchizedek, the same Priesthood by which God Himself performed all His works in the heavens and in the earth, and any man who bore that Priesthood had the same power. That Priesthood had communication with the heavens, power to move the heavens, power to perform the work of the heavens, and wherever any man magnified that calling, God gave His angels charge concerning him and his ministrations were of power and force both in this world and the world to come; but let that man use that Priesthood for any other purpose than the building up of the Kingdom of God, for which purpose it was given, and the heavens withdraw themselves, the power of the Priesthood departs, and he is left to walk in darkness and not in light, and this is the key to apostasy of all men whether in this generation or any other.—JD 21:190-191, Wilford Woodruff.

Footnotes

1. See also, Priesthood and Church Welfare, the 1939 Study Course for Melchizedek Quorums.

2. The revelation from which the above is quoted previously refers to the quorum of the First Presidency, the quorum of the Twelve, and "The Seventy." (For the precedence of quorums see Section 107; also subsequent chapters.)

3. In jurisprudence this admonition would have great significance as "running a presumption in favor of the accused." Its meaning should not be undervalued, accordingly, in the daily practice of Priesthood bearers.

4. What the Prophet says here envisions completely the responsibility of co-ordination in a large organization, which responsibility falls usually upon the administrator-in-chief and someone especially delegated for that work in modern treatises on the management of large enterprises.

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102Chapter 9

102DIVISIONS OF THE PRIESTHOOD

1021. ONE PRIESTHOOD ONLY

102There is and has ever been but one Priesthood, the Holy Priesthood, "which Priesthood continueth in the Church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years." (Doctrine and Covenants 84:17.) By its authority, alone, may men speak and act in the name of the Lord for the salvation of humanity.

102This authoritative Priesthood is designed to assist men in all of life's endeavors, both temporal and spiritual. Consequently, there are divisions or offices of the Priesthood, each charged with a definite duty, fitting a special human need.—PC 139.

102The Prophet Joseph Smith once said that all Priesthood is Melchizedek. That is to say that the Melchizedek Priesthood embraces all offices and authorities in the Priesthood. This is clearly stated in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107:5:

102"All other authorities or offices in the Church are appendages 1 to this (i.e. Melchizedek) Priesthood."—RC 2, May 22, 1935.

102I believe it to be the duty of the Church to recognize and acknowledge every man who holds an official position in it, in his sphere and in his calling. I hold to the doctrine that the duty of a Teacher is as sacred as the duty of an Apostle, in the sphere in which he is called to act, and that every member of the Church is as much in duty bound to honor the Teacher who visits him in his home, as he is to honor the office and counsel of the Presiding Quorum of the Church. They all have the Priesthood; they are all acting in their callings, and they are all essential in their places, because the Lord has appointed them and set them in His Church. We cannot ignore them; or, if we do, the sin will be upon our heads.—GD 163.

103The Lord never did intend that one man should have all power, and for that reason he has placed in his Church, Presidents, Apostles, High Priests, Seventies, Elders, and the various officers of the Lesser Priesthood, all of which are essential in their order and place according to the authority bestowed on them. The Lord never did anything that was not essential or that was superfluous. There is a use for every branch of the Priesthood that He has established in His Church. We want every man to learn his duty, and we expect every man will do his duty as faithfully as he knows how, and carry off his portion of the responsibility of building up Zion in the latter days.—GD 177. 2

103There are two Priesthoods spoken of in the Scriptures, viz., the Melchizedek and the Aaronic or Levitical. Although there are two Priesthoods, yet the Melchizedek Priesthood comprehends the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood, and is the grand head, and holds the highest authority which pertains to the Priesthood, and the keys of the Kingdom of God in all ages of the world to the latest posterity on the earth; and is the channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the plan of salvation and every important matter is revealed from heaven.—T 166.

1042. THE TWO DIVISIONS OF THE PRIESTHOOD

104Much and various work is to be done in the Church, for man's life is complex. Consequently, many and varied are the labors that must be directed and supported by the Priesthood. To accomplish this work well, there must be a division of labor—a fundamental characteristic of all orderly work.—RT 99.

104There are in the Church two Priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and the Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.

104Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great High Priest.

104Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the order of the Son of God.

104But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of His name, they, the Church, in ancient days, called that Priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.

104All other authorities or offices in the Church are appendages to this Priesthood.

104But there are two divisions or grand heads—one is the Melchizedek Priesthood and the other is the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood.—D&C 107:1-6.

104However, these two divisions are not separate but coherent parts. The duties and authority of each touch, commingle and become means to forward God's purposes as contained in the Great Plan.—GQ 12-13.

104The Priesthood after the order of the Son of God is the ruling presiding authority in the Church. It is divided into its various parts—the Melchizedek and the Aaronic—and all the quorums or councils are organized in the Church, each with special duties and special callings; not clashing with one another, but all harmonious and united. In other words, there is no government in the Church of Jesus Christ separate and apart, above, or outside of the Holy Priesthood or its authority.—GD 144.

1053. OFFICERS OF THE PRIESTHOOD

105In General. Appended to and growing out of the two Priesthoods, are various offices. The offices are not parts of the Priesthood, as is sometimes erroneously said. Office means the service or duty to be performed; that is, a definite line of work to be followed. It is not correct to say that a person holds the Priesthood of Deacon, or the Priesthood of Teacher. Say rather that he holds the office of Deacon, or the office of Teacher, etc.—CG 28.

105Presidency. There is a presidency over each of these Priesthoods, both over the Melchizedek and the Aaronic.—IP 37.

105Jurisdiction of Priesthood Officers. There is no office growing out of this Priesthood that is or can be greater than the Priesthood itself. It is from the Priesthood that the office derives its authority and power. No office gives authority to the Priesthood. No office adds to the power of the Priesthood. But all offices in the Church derive their power, their virtue, their authority, from the Priesthood. If our brethren would get this principle thoroughly established in their minds, there would be less misunderstanding in relation to the functions of government in the Church than there is. Today the question is, which is the greater—the High Priest or the Seventy—the Seventy or the High Priest? I tell you that neither of them is the greater, and neither of them is the lesser. Their callings lie in different directions, but they are from the same Priesthood. If it were necessary, the Seventy, holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, as he does, I say if it were necessary, he could ordain a High Priest; and if it were necessary for a High Priest to ordain a Seventy he could do that. Why? Because both of them hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. Then again, if it were necessary, though I do not expect the necessity will ever arise, and there was no man left on earth holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, except an Elder—that Elder, by the inspiration of the Spirit of God and by the direction of the Almighty, could proceed, and should proceed, to organize the Church of Jesus Christ in all its perfection, because he holds the Melchizedek Priesthood.

106But the house of God is a house of order, and while the other officers remain in the Church, we must observe the order of the Priesthood, and we must perform ordinances and ordinations strictly in accordance with that order, as it has been established in the Church through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his successors.—GD 148.

106Titles Arising from Office. In several instances, officers of the two Priesthoods bear the title of their respective offices, for example: Bishop; Elder; Apostle; Patriarch . The term Elder is a fitting and pleasing title for all officers of the Melchizedek Priesthood.—CG 29.

1064. RESTORATION BY ORDINATION AND REVELATION

106When Joseph Smith received his first great vision of the Father and the Son, there was no true Priesthood among the churches of the earth. There had been apostasy from the truth since the time of Christ and His Apostles. Consequently, it was necessary that the true order be restored from heaven, by those who had previously held the keys of authority. So, the heavenly messenger, John the Baptist, appeared on May 15, 1829, laid his hands upon the heads of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood. Sometime thereafter, the ancient Apostles, Peter, James and John appeared to them and ordained them to the Melchizedek Priesthood, In each instance, the keys, or full powers of the Priesthood, were conferred upon them. Later on, special authority was conferred upon them in the Kirtland Temple for the gathering of the tribes of Israel and for the sealing power in behalf of the living and the dead, by the angels Moses and Elijah. The Melchizedek Priesthood administers the Gospel, and holds the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.—SP 32.

106Restoration of the Lesser Priesthood.

106 - 107The first act in the restoration of the Priesthood was the recommitting of the Lesser Priesthood to mortal men. On May 15, 1829, the Priesthood of Aaron was conferred upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery under the hands of John the Baptist, in the following words:

107"Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness."—D&C 13.

107Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Modern revelation in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, supported by the documentary record in the Prophet's History of the Church, makes it clear that the Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery through the ministration of Peter, James, and John, shortly after the conferring of the Aaronic order, May 15, 1829. Proceeding under the plenary authority entailed in holding the keys of this Priesthood the Church was subsequently organized on April 6, 1830, and the development of the various offices and callings within the Priesthood, together with their proper ordinances and ceremonies, proceeded forthwith. Succeeding chapters will deal with these points in detail.

107Method: Revelation and Ordination. How came these Apostles, these Seventies, these High Priests, and all this organization we now enjoy? It came by revelation.

107Father Cahoon, who lately died in your neighborhood, was one of the first ordained to the office of High Priest in this Kingdom. In the year 1831 the Prophet Joseph went to Ohio. He left the State of New York on the last of April, if my memory serves me, and arrived in Kirtland sometime in May. They held a general conference, which was the first general conference called or held in Ohio. Joseph then received a revelation and ordained High Priests. You read in the book of Doctrine and Covenants how he received the Priesthood in the first place.... I relate this to show you how Joseph proceeded step by step in organizing the Church. At that time there were no Seventies nor Twelve Apostles.—D 142.

Footnotes

1. All of the offices in the Priesthood are appendages to the Priesthood, D. & C. 107:5.

2. In the two foregoing statements of President Joseph F. Smith a significant and basic idea in the meaning of Priesthood is made clear. That is, that although the President of the Church may hold and dispense the powers and administrative responsibilities of that office, the power of the Priesthood is decentralized; first, according to offices and the Jurisdictions of those respective offices; second, according to individual Priesthood-bearers. This means that while the Church as a whole is delicately responsive to central authority for Church-wide purposes, the central-local relationships in the organization do not restrict the full initiative and free development of either territorial divisions of the Church, individual quorums, groups of quorums, or the member as an individual. As subsequent chapters will indicate, the Priesthood provides a "functional" instrumentality for Church Government which is at once efficient and responsible in centralization, but flexible and decentralized in actual administration. As such the Priesthood, if developed properly in each quorum, affords perhaps the only successful means, for reconciling without violence, the concept of freedom with authority, liberty with equality—a quest as ancient in the realm of social institutions as the search for the "philosopher's stone" in ancient alchemy and its modern variants.

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108Chapter 10

108THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD

108Diagrammatic Representation of the Duties and Authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood

108(References to Sections in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.)

1091. ORIGIN OF THE NAME

109There are, in the Church, two Priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood. Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great High Priest. Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God. But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of His name, they, the Church, in ancient days, called that Priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood. All other authorities or offices in the Church are appendages to this Priesthood. But there are two divisions or grand heads—one is the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the other is the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood.—D&C 107:1-6.

109Melchizedek—The Great High Priest. Melchizedek King of Salem, was a great High Priest, who had received the High Priesthood, "through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah." He met Abraham as the latter was returning from the victorious pursuit of the tribes that had taken captive Lot, Abraham's brother's son. On that occasion, Abraham paid tithes to the High Priest, Melchizedek, who blessed him and conferred upon him the Priesthood.

109The greatness and holiness of Melchizedek, King of Salem, has been recognized throughout the ages. He has become a vast mythological figure among many nations; but a real High Priest, magnified by the Lord, among those who understand the latter-day work of the Lord. He is well worthy the honour of having His name used to designate the Priesthood that was conferred upon him by his fathers, who had received it in unbroken line from Adam, who received it from God.—SP 17. 1

1092. AUTHORITY OF THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD

109 - 110The Melchizedek Priesthood is distinguished from the Aaronic Priesthood in that it has authority over the spiritual—the inward—ordinances of the Church. It may perform all the duties placed upon the Lesser Priesthood and, in addition, may administer in the other ordinances. It "holds the right of presidency, and has power and authority over all the offices of the Church in all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things."—PC 143. (See also D&C 107:8-10, 18-19.)

1103. RESTORATION OF THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD

110Time and Place. This most sacred and important event, above quoted, occurred at or near a place called Harmony, in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, while Joseph Smith was living there, engaged in the translation of the Book of Mormon, and Oliver Cowdery was writing for him. We have not, unfortunately, any account so definite, of the reception by Joseph and Oliver of the Melchizedek Priesthood, as we have the confirmation of the Aaronic Priesthood. But we have positive information and knowledge 2 that they did receive this Priesthood at the hands of Peter, James and John, to whom the keys and power thereof were committed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and who were commissioned to restore it to the earth in the dispensation of the fulness of times. We cannot fix the exact date when this Priesthood was restored, but it occurred some time between the 15th of May, 1829, and the 6th of April, 1830. We can approximate to within a few months of the exact time, but no further, from any of the records of the Church. Joseph, the Prophet, designates the place where their ordination took place, in his address to the Saints (DC 128:20) written in 1842 as follows:

110 - 111"Again what do we hear?... the voice of Peter, James, and John, in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna County, and Colesville, Broome County, on the Susquehanna River, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the Kingdom of the dispensation of the fulness of times." And in a revelation given September, 1830, referring to Joseph and Oliver, the Lord said in reference to partaking again of the Sacrament on the earth, that "the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, ... and also with Elias, ... and also John the son of Zacharias, ... which John I have sent unto you, my servants, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery, to ordain you unto this first Priesthood which you have received, that you might be called and ordained even as Aaron; and also Elijah, ... and also with Joseph and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, your fathers, by whom the promises remain; and also with Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days. And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be Apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry, and of the same things which I revealed unto them; unto whom I have committed the keys of my Kingdom, and a dispensation of the Gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven and which are on earth."—D&C 27:5-13; GD 193-194.

1114. OFFICES

111Offices of the Melchizedek Priesthood Enumerated. The work assigned to the Church is so varied and extensive that of necessity there must be a division of labor among those who hold the Priesthood. Consequently there are offices in the Priesthood.

111In the Melchizedek Priesthood there are six offices: 3

111The Elder, who is a standing home minister.

111The Seventy, who is a traveling minister.

111The High Priest, who is to minister in spiritual things and to preside as his calling in the Church requires.

111The Patriarch, a High Priest, who seals blessings upon the members of the Church.

112The Apostle, who is a traveling councilor, and special witness of the name of Christ in all the world.

112The Presidency of the High Priesthood, who have the right to officiate in all the offices of the Priesthood.

112Any man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood has the power, when called by the proper authority, to assist in the advancement of the many activities that of necessity arise in the Church.—GQ 13-14.

112Quorum Organization Provided. (See also Chapter 10.) The members of the Higher Priesthood are organized into Quorums, 96 Elders with a President and two Counselors, and of 70 Seventies with Seven Presidents. The quorums of High Priests are indefinite in number.—RT 101.

1125. THE ELDERS

112The Term "Elder." The term "Elder" as used in the Church is both a specific and a general one. In its specific use, it is applied to the first office in the Melchizedek Priesthood. But in its general meaning, it is used to refer to any degree of that Priesthood. Thus, we often hear an Apostle spoken of as Elder Smith or Elder Woodruff. So with Seventies and High Priests. The general title, "Elder" is often applied to them in giving an account of their labors.—PM 29-30.

112The office of an Elder comes under the Priesthood of Melchizedek.—D&C 107:7.

112The offices of Elder and Bishop are necessary appendages belonging unto the High Priesthood.—D&C 84:29.

112Power. Whoever is ordained to the office of an Elder to a certain degree possesses the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood; and suppose only one Elder should be left on the earth, could he go and set in order the Kingdom of God? Yes, by revelation.—D 139.

112 - 113Ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the office of Elder in the Church. Whilst the Book of Mormon was in the hands of the printer, we still continued to bear testimony and give information, as far as we had opportunity; and also made known to our brethren that we had received a commandment to organize the Church; and accordingly we met together for that purpose, at the house of Mr. Peter Whitmer, Sen. (being six in number), on Tuesday, the sixth day of April, A.D., one thousand eight hundred and thirty. Having opened the meeting by solemn prayer to our Heavenly Father, we proceeded, according to previous commandment, to call on our brethren to know whether they accepted us as their teachers in the things of the Kingdom of God, and whether they were satisfied that we should proceed and be organized as a Church, according to said commandment which we had received. To these several propositions they consented by a unanimous vote. I then laid my hands upon Oliver Cowdery, and ordained him an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; after which, he ordained me also to the office of an Elder of said Church.—DHC 1:74-78.

113Advancements from the Aaronic Priesthood. We hereby approve the Twelve's recommendation in letter of September 29, that a definite time be fixed for the ordaining of Priests to the office of Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood, and that this age be 19, thus affording Elders the privilege of two years of training and experience before they become eligible for ordination to the office of Seventy.—RC 2, November 29, 1934. (Signed) Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., David O. McKay, First Presidency.

113The Elder and His Work. The Elder is a standing minister to the Church. The Elder is appointed to render spiritual service. Under proper direction he may confirm those who are baptized, "by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost." (D&C 20:41.) He may ordain other Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons; anoint and bless the sick by the laying on of hands; preach the Gospel at home and abroad, and administer the ordinances thereof. He is authorized to conduct meetings under proper direction; and may do all that the Priests may do. A complete quorum of Elders comprises ninety-six members, of which three form the presidency. (D&C 20:44-45; 107:89; 124:137.)—PC 143.

113 - 114An Elder has a right to officiate in his stead when the High Priest is not present. The High Priest and Elder are to administer in spiritual things, agreeable to the covenants and commandments of the Church; and they have a right to officiate in these offices of the Church when there are no higher authorities present.—D&C 107:11-12.

114The duty of the Elders, Priests, Teachers, Deacons, and members of the Church of Christ:

114An Apostle is an Elder, and it is his calling to baptize; and to ordain other Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons; and to administer bread and wine—the emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ—and to confirm those who are baptized into the Church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the Scriptures; and to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the Church; and to confirm the Church by the laying on of the hands, and the giving of the Holy Ghost; and to take the lead of all meetings.

114The Elders are to conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy Ghost, according to the commandments and revelations of God.—D&C 20:38-45.

114It is the right and privilege of every Elder in Israel to enjoy the Holy Ghost, and the light of it, to know everything which concerns himself and his individual duties, but it is not his right and privilege to dictate to his superior in office, nor to give him counsel, unless he is called upon to do so, then he may make suggestions.—D 147.

114It is the duty of this body of men (the Elders) to be standing ministers at home; to be ready at the call of the Presiding Officers of the Church and the Stakes, to labor in the ministry at home, and to officiate in any calling that may be required of them, whether it be to work in the temples, or to labor in the ministry at home, or whether it be to go out into the world, along with the Seventies, to preach the Gospel to the world.—GD 184.

114 - 115Duty of the Elders' Quorums. The Lord, when defining the duties of the Quorum of Elders, says: "Which quorum is instituted for standing ministers, nevertheless they may travel, yet they are ordained to be standing ministers to my Church, saith the Lord." And of the Quorum of Seventy he says: "Which quorum is instituted for traveling Elders to bear record of my name in all the world, wherever the Traveling High Council, my Apostles, shall send them to prepare the way before my face. The difference between this Quorum and the Quorum of Elders is, that one is to travel continually, and the other is to preside over the churches from time to time; the one has the responsibility of presiding from time to time, and the other has no responsibility of presiding, saith the Lord."—D&C 124:137-140.

1156. THE SEVENTIES

115The Calling of the Seventy. The Seventy are also called to preach the Gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the Church in the duties of their calling. And they form a quorum, equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named.—D&C 107:25-26.

115The order of the Seventy is a special calling of Elders for the preaching of the Gospel in all the world, under the direction of the Twelve Apostles. A quorum consists of seventy members, of which seven are chosen as presidents. The difference between the Seventies and the Elders is that the former are "traveling ministers" and the latter are "standing ministers" to the Church. Seventies are to travel if needs be in the preaching of the Gospel, whereas Elders and other officers of the Church have the responsibility of building up the Church in the wards and branches of the Church. They have the same authority as the Elders in performing Priesthood ordinances. (D&C 107:34, 93-96; 124:39.)—PC 144.

115The Seventies are to constitute traveling quorums, to go into all the earth, whithersoever the Twelve Apostles shall call them.—T 68.

115 - 116Subject to the Direction of the Twelve. The Seventies are also members of the same Priesthood, (i.e., the High Priesthood), are a sort of traveling council or Priesthood, and may preside over a church or churches, until a High Priest can be had. The Seventies are to be taken from the quorum of Elders, and are not to be High Priests. They are subject to the direction and dictation of the Twelve, who have the keys of the ministry. All are to preach the Gospel, by the power and influence of the Holy Ghost; and no man can preach the Gospel without the Holy Ghost.—T 112.

116Relative to the duty of the Seventies in regulating churches, etc., I say that the duties of the Seventies are more particularly to preach the Gospel, and build up churches, rather than regulate them, that a High Priest may take charge of them. If a High Priest should be remiss in his duty, and should lead, or suffer the Church to be led astray, depart from the ordinances of the Lord, then it is the duty of one of the Seventies, acting under the special direction of the Twelve, being duly commissioned by them with their delegated authority, to go to the Church, and if agreeable to a majority of the members of said Church, to proceed to regulate and put in order the same; otherwise, he can have no authority to act.—T 164.

116The Seventies are called to be assistants to the Twelve Apostles; and it is their duty to respond to the call of the Twelve, under the direction of the First Presidency of the Church, to preach the Gospel to every creature, to every tongue and people under the heavens, to whom they may be sent. They should take up the study of the Gospel, the study of the Scriptures and the history of the dealings of God with the peoples of the earth, in their own quorums, and in such other classes as are now provided for them, and make those quorums schools of learning and instruction, wherein they may qualify themselves for every labor and duty that may be required at their hands.

116The Seventies have no responsibility of presiding. It is not the calling or duty of their office to preside. They are traveling Elders, and they are to preach the Gospel to the world, under the direction of the Twelve Apostles, who constitute the Traveling High Council of the Church, and who are special witnesses of Jesus Christ to all the world.—GD 183-184.

116 - 117Organization of the Seventies, February 28, 1835. On the 28th of February, 1835, the Church, in council assembled, commenced the selection of men to be Seventies. The Seven Presidents of the first quorum were Hazen Aldrich, Joseph Young, Levi W. Hancock, Leonard Rich, Zebedee Coltrin, Lyman Sherman and Sylvester Smith. 4

117Referring to the circumstances relating to the choosing of the Twelve Apostles and Seventies, Brigham Young relates as follows:

117After we returned from Missouri, my brother, Joseph Young, and myself had been singing after preaching in a meeting; and when the meeting was dismissed, Brother Joseph Smith said, "Come, go down to my house with me." We went and sang to him a long time, and talked with him. He then opened the subject of the Twelve and Seventies, for the first time I ever thought of it. He said, "Brethren, I am going to call out Twelve Apostles. I think we will get together, by and by, and select a quorum of Seventy, from those who have been up to Zion, out of the Camp boys." In 1835, the last of January or in February, or about that time, we held our meetings from day to day, and Brother Joseph called out Twelve Apostles at that time. He had a revelation when we were singing to him.—PM 71-72.

117Subsequent Quorums of Seventies Were Organized by the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Prophet Joseph also then began to organize quorums of Seventies. He organized one quorum; then he told the brethren to call up other Elders and ordain them into the Seventies, forming another quorum of Seventies, and then another, and then a fourth quorum, and a fifth, and a sixth, etc.—President Brigham Young, Annual Conference, April, 1861.

117 - 118Relation of Seventies to High Priests and to the Rest of Priesthood. There has been, sometimes, a little feeling manifested between the Seventies and High Priests, as to who has the greatest authority, and some of the Seventies have manifested a desire to be united with the High Priests quorum, thinking thereby to obtain a greater degree of Priesthood. This is folly, for, it is not the office but the magnifying of an office that makes a man honorable. The Seventies have the High Priesthood, and many of them have received ordinances in the Temple, qualifying them to build up the Kingdom of God, if every other officer was dead or killed, and so have the High Priests. So far, then, as authority is concerned, they both have authority, but it is the especial business of the Seventies to preach to all the world, introduce and spread the Gospel; while it is the duty of the High Priests more especially to preside; yet a High Priest is not precluded from traveling and preaching, and introducing the Gospel (nor a Seventy from presiding).—MS 9:324-325, John Taylor.

118The Seventies possess the same power and authority; they hold the keys of establishing, building up, regulating, ordaining and setting in order the Kingdom of God in all its perfections upon the earth.—D 140.

118Joseph Smith never would permit the Seventies to get together and believe themselves a separate body from the rest of the Church. I never cared much about this, for I was not a particle afraid that they would get any power that truly does not belong to them; for if they did, I was always satisfied that it would be blown to the four winds.—D 142.

118Another subject of vital importance to the Church was the establishing of the grades of the different quorums. It was ascertained that all but one or two of the presidents of the Seventies were High Priests, and when they had ordained and set apart any from the quorum of Elders, into the quorum of Seventies, they had conferred upon them the High Priesthood also. This was declared to be wrong, and not according to the order of heaven. New presidents of the Seventies were accordingly ordained to fill the places of such of them as were High Priests, and the ex-officio presidents, and such of the Seventies as had been legally ordained to be High Priests, were directed to unite with the High Priests' quorum. (April 6, 1837.)—T 111.

118 - 119Selection and Ordination of Seventies. Gather in from the Elders' quorums those who have proved themselves worthy, and who have gained experience, and make Seventies of them, so that the quorum of the Seventies may be replenished; and the aged ones, whose physical condition will not permit them any longer to do missionary duty in the world, let them be ordained High Priests and Patriarchs, to bless the people and to minister at home. Gather in the strong, the vigorous, the young, the ablebodied, who have the spirit of the Gospel in their hearts, to fill up the ranks of the Seventies, that we may have ministers to preach the Gospel to the world. They are needed. We cannot now meet the demand.—GD 184.

119In regard to the class of men who should be recommended to the office of Seventy, we suggest that:

119First. Only such men should be called to this office as show evidence of ability to expound the Scriptures and to present in a convincing manner the saving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

119Second. Men may be called who have already filled missions and have thereby demonstrated their worthiness and capability and who may be able to fill other missions.

119Third. Not infrequently it will be found that young men will best fit into the missionary service. When this is the case, their youth should not be a bar to their ordination.

119Fourth. To all recommended to the office of Seventy, the term "Minute-Man" should have deep significance; for upon the Seventy rests the direct responsibility of preaching the Gospel, at home and abroad. All Seventies, therefore, should hold themselves ever in readiness to answer the call of the Presiding Priesthood, "to be a traveling minister unto the Gentiles first and also unto the Jews."—RC 1, August 22, 1927; Council of the Twelve, (signed) Rudger Clawson, President; First Council of Seventy, (signed) Rulon S. Wells, one of the Presidents.

119Quorum Organization and Quorum Leadership. A Quorum of Seventy is always organized when a stake is formed if there are sufficient seventies to make a majority. Should the number in the stake be less than a majority, a unit would be formed with a presiding seventy.

119Whenever there are enough members holding the office of Seventy residing in any ward of the stakes of Zion, they may be organized into a quorum. Quorums are numbered consecutively according to the order of their respective organizations.

120Whenever it is deemed advisable to divide an existing quorum into two or more quorums, the Stake Presidency consults with the local quorum council, then makes recommendations to the First Council, which in turn makes recommendations to the Council of the Twelve.

120Each quorum of Seventy is under the jurisdiction, (1) of the Presidency of that quorum, and (2) of the First Council of the Seventy. The Stake Presidency, however, preside over all the members of the Church in the Stake and may direct their labors locally in the Priesthood without conflicting with quorum duties, and may institute rules so as to prevent the interference of quorum meetings with ward and stake regulations.

120The quorums of Seventy are organized with special reference to their calling as the foreign ministry of the Church. It will be observed that their organization is different from that of every other quorum in the Church, for whereas in all other quorums of the High Priesthood the Presidency consists of one President and two counselors, in the quorum of Seventy there are seven presidents of equal power and authority. This is to say, there is not one president and six counselors, but each of the seven is a president, and in power and authority is equal with his fellow presidents; but for the sake of order the right of presidency is recognized as being vested in the senior president by ordination. And it is according to the vision, showing the order of the Seventy, that they should have seven presidents to preside over them, chosen out of the number of the Seventy. And the seventh president (counting from the one last ordained) of these presidents is to preside over the six. In the absence of the senior president the next senior in ordination becomes acting president. By this simple arrangement all confusion as to the right of presiding is obviated, for no sooner does the council of a quorum, or any part thereof, convene, then each president knows at once upon whom the responsibility of presiding rests, let them meet where they may.

120 - 121By virtue of having seven presidents, a quorum of Seventy is not easily disorganized, and this doubtless was one of the objects in view in this arrangement. One, two, three, or even six of the presidents could be sent abroad upon missions (although that is not likely to be the case at any one time) and yet the quorum would have a president left, who, with the quorum, would be competent to transact whatever business might be necessary for that quorum.—CG 148, quoting from B. H. Roberts.

121All Seventies who are called in to or added to a council of a Seventies' quorum should take their places in the order in which they are sustained before the quorum, irrespective of the order of their setting apart.—RC1, March 29, 1928.

121A Senior President receives no further ordination than that which he received when he was ordained a member of the Council. He approaches the place of a senior president as his seniors die or are released.—CG149.

1217. THE HIGH PRIESTS

121Calling of the High Priest. High Priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an Elder, Priest (of the Levitical order), Teacher, Deacon, and member.—DC107:10.

121From the body of High Priests are chosen those who are to fill presiding positions of the Church. High Priests are, as a rule, men of varied experience, who have filled missions abroad, who have preached the Gospel to the nations of the earth, and who have had experience fitting them to fill positions of presidency.—SP19.

121It is the duty of the High Priest to qualify himself to teach and expound doctrine and prepare other High Priests to magnify their office and prepare to be "standing presidents or servants over different stakes scattered abroad."—D&C 121:34.

121 - 122We have a quorum of High Priests, and there are a great many of them. They are a local body—they tarry at home; but the Seventies travel and preach; so also do the High Priests when they are called upon. They possess precisely the same Priesthood that the Seventies and the Twelve and the First Presidency possess; but are they ordained to officiate in all the authority, powers, and keys of this Priesthood? No, they are not. Still they are High Priests of God; and if they magnify their Priesthood, they will receive at some time all the authority and power that it is possible for men to receive.—D 140.

122The Important Conference of June, 1831. In the month of February (1831), the Lord commanded that the word be sent out to the Elders of the Church calling them from the east and from the west; from the north and from the south; to meet in conference and receive instruction. Accordingly a conference was set for June 3, which convened at Kirtland and continued until the 6th. The spirit of the Lord was displayed in a marvelous way, and the power of the evil one, which was made manifest in opposition to the work was successfully rebuked.

122The First High Priests Ordained. At this conference the first High Priests in this dispensation were ordained. Lyman Wight, John Murdock, Reynolds Cahoon, Harvey Whitlock and Hyrum Smith, were ordained to the office of High Priest, by Joseph Smith the Prophet; Joseph Smith, Sen., Joseph Smith the Prophet, Parley P. Pratt, Thomas B. Marsh, Isaac Morley, Edward Partridge, Joseph Wakefield, Martin Harris, Ezra Thayer, Ezra Booth, John Corrill, Samuel H. Smith, John Whitmer and Sidney Rigdon were ordained to the office of High Priest, under the hands of Lyman Wight. Edward Partridge, the Bishop of the Church, then blessed those who had been ordained. John Corrill and Isaac Morley were sustained and ordained as assistants, or counselors, to Bishop Whitney, under the hands of Lyman Wight.—ECH.126.

122In the minutes of the meeting the statement is made that the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood was manifested and conferred for the first time on several of the Elders. This is an error, for the Melchizedek Priesthood had been conferred upon these and other brethren when they were ordained Elders. The meaning is clear that the office of High Priest is meant instead of Melchizedek Priesthood.—DHC.1:175-176.

123The Responsibility of Presiding. High Priests have the particular responsibility of presiding, when so called upon. All Bishoprics, High Councilors, Stake Presidencies and the First Presidency are High Priests. There is one High Priests' quorum for each stake of Zion, including all High Priests in the stake. It is expected of those who are ordained to this office in the Priesthood, especially, that they shall have proven their stability, faith and devotion to the Church in such a way that they can be depended upon to stand firm and true under all circumstances.—PC144.

123 - 124High Priests as Examples to the People. Every man who holds the office of High Priest in the Church, or has been ordained a High Priest, whether he is called to active position in the Church or not—inasmuch as he has been ordained a High Priest—should feel that he is obliged, that it is his bounden duty, to set an example before the old and young worthy of emulation, and to place himself in a position to be a teacher of righteousness, not only by precept but more particularly by example—giving the younger ones the benefit of the experience of age, and thus becoming individually a power in the midst of the community in which he dwells. Every man who has light should let that light shine, that those who see it may glorify their Father which is in heaven, and honor him who possesses the light and who causes it to shine forth for the benefit of others. In a local capacity, there is no body of Priesthood in the Church who should excel, or who are expected to excel, those who are called to bear the office of High Priest in the Church. From among those who hold this office are chosen the Presidents of Stakes of Zion, and from this office are chosen the Bishops, and the Bishops' counselors in every ward in Zion; and heretofore, of this office are those who have been called to take charge of our Stake Mutual Improvement organizations. Those holding this office are, as a rule, men of advanced years, and varied experience, men who have filled missions abroad, who have preached the Gospel to the nations of the earth, and who have had experience not only abroad but at home. Their experience and wisdom is ripened fruit of years of labor in the Church, and they should exercise that wisdom for the benefit of all with whom they are associated.—GD 181-182.

124Quorum Organization and Leadership. Each stake of Zion has an organization called the High Priests' quorum, to which all High Priests of the Church belong, including the Presidency and the High Counselors of the stake, and also the Bishops and their counselors, all the Patriarchs, and all others who have been ordained to the office of High Priest in the Church, which office is the office of Presidency in the Melchizedek Priesthood, not that every man who holds the office of High Priest is a president. Only he who is called, appointed and set apart to preside among the High Priests holds the presiding authority and office.—GD 181.

124Responsibility of Presiding Officers to High Priests' Quorum. The High Priests' quorums should have their regular meetings. They should meet together as often as circumstances will permit or as necessity requires, and grow and unite together. They should establish their schools of instruction and enlightenment; for it is the duty of the High Priests' quorum to teach the principles of government, of union, of advancement and of growth in the Kingdom of God. They are indeed the fathers of the people at large. In our High Priests' quorum are numbered the Presidents of Stakes and their counselors. Bishops and counselors. Patriarchs, and all that have been ordained to the office of High Priest in the Melchizedek Priesthood. All such belong to the High Priests' quorum. They come under its supervision, and they should have a lively union with it, not a dead connection. They should be united with the quorum in such a way that they give it all the force that they can impart for good. They should give it their individual influence, their hearty support, their confidence, and the benefit of their advice and counsel. They should not pull apart, not be disinterested in these matters.—GD 182.

1258. HIGH PRIESTS AS BISHOPS AND BISHOPS' COUNSELORS 5

125The office of Bishop.... is a necessary appendage belonging to the High Priesthood. Bishops who are not literal descendants of Aaron are ordained High Priests also, because High Priests are to preside and may officiate in all lesser offices. The firstborn among literal descendants of Aaron have a legal right to the Bishopric, if they can prove their lineage, and are designated, found worthy, and set apart to the office by the First Presidency. The Bishop is called the father of the ward. He presides as such over all of the members in his ward. He is a "judge in Israel," to sit with his counselors as Bishop's Court in cases of transgression. (DC41:9; 42:10, 31, 71-73; 68:14-21; 72:2-26; 84:29; 107:15, 72, 74, 76, 87, 88.)—PC142.

125There remaineth hereafter, in the due time of the Lord, other Bishops to be set apart unto the Church, to minister even according to the first; wherefore, they shall be High Priests who are worthy, and they shall be appointed by the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood, except they be literal descendants of Aaron.

125But as a High Priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices, he may officiate in the office of Bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, provided he is called and set apart and ordained unto this power under the hands of the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood.—DC68:14, 15, 19.

125Qualifications. A Bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince.—Titus 1:7-9; See also Timothy 3:2-7; D&C 46:27.

126Classification of Bishops. Bishops may be classified according to the duties assigned them. The functions of office are numerous and different in their nature. They may now be arranged as follows: (1) Presiding Bishop of the whole Church. (2) Local, or Ward Bishops.—CG 160.

126Prerogative of Lineal Descendant of Aaron. A lineal descendant of Aaron may "act in the office of Bishop independently, without counselors, except in a case where a President of the High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, is tried, to sit as a Judge in Israel. (D&C 107:76.) But a High Priest, acting as Bishop, must have counselors.—D&C 107:72; 124:141; CG 160.

126Calling and Removal of Bishops—How Tried. As the First Presidency has the sole power of appointment, so they have also sole power of removal.

126"And again, no Bishop or High Priest who shall be set apart for this ministry, shall be tried or condemned for any crime, save before the First Presidency. And inasmuch as he is found guilty before this presidency, by testimony that cannot be impeached, he shall be condemned." (D&C 68:22, 23.) Undoubtedly in a case so grave as the impeachment and trial of a Presiding Bishop, a special court would be organized such as is set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, 107:78, 81: namely, a special High Council presided over by the First Presidency of the Church.—CG 162.

1269. PATRIARCHS

126Calling. Patriarchs, evangelical ministers, or evangelists, as they are sometimes called, have a special calling in the Church. It is that of declaring the lineage of the Church members and of pronouncing blessings upon them. "It is the duty of the Twelve, in all large branches of the Church, to ordain evangelical ministers (Patriarchs), and they shall be designated unto them by revelation. The order of this Priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made." (Doctrine and Covenants, 107:39-40.)—PC 144.

127We have a number of Patriarchs in the Church whose duty it is to bestow blessings upon the heads of those who seek blessings at their hands. They are fathers. They hold the evangelical office in the Church. It is their business and right to bestow blessings upon the people, to make promises unto them in the name of the Lord, as it may be given them by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to comfort them in the hours of sorrow and trouble, to strengthen their faith by the promises that shall be made to them through the Spirit of God, and to be fathers indeed of the people, leading them into all truth.—JD 226.

127The Patriarch to the Church. There is one Patriarch in the Church, known officially as the "Patriarch to the Church," with general jurisdiction throughout the whole organization; he holds the keys of the patriarchal office, and unto him the promise is given "that whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses shall be cursed; that whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."—AF 208.

127Concerning the patriarchal authority the Lord has said: "The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed to whom the promises were made. This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage." But besides this office of general patriarchal power, there are a number of local patriarchs appointed in the branches of the Church, all subject to counsel and instruction from the Patriarch to the Church, as he is directed by the First Presidency or the Council of the Twelve, yet possessing the same privileges and authority within their districts as belong to the Patriarch to the Church throughout the Church. "It is the duty of the Twelve, in all large branches of the Church, to ordain evangelical ministers, as they shall be designated unto them by revelation." 6AF 208.

12810. APOSTLES

128The Apostle is a traveling High Councilor and special witness to the name of Jesus Christ in all the world.—SP 19.

128Calling of the Twelve in this Dispensation. On the 14th of February, 1835, a meeting was called of those who journeyed last season to Zion for the purpose of laying the foundation of its redemption, together with as many other of the brethren and sisters as were disposed to attend.

128President Joseph Smith, Jun., presiding, read the 15th chapter of John, and said: Let us endeavor to solemnize our minds that we may receive a blessing, by calling on the Lord. After an appropriate and affecting prayer, the brethren who went to Zion (in Zion's camp) were requested to take their seats together in a part of the house by themselves.

128President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit. He then gave a revelation of some of the circumstances attending us while journeying to Zion—our trials, sufferings; and said God had not designated all this for nothing, but He had it in remembrance yet; and it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry....

128After approving by vote the proposition for the selection of Twelve Apostles, the assembly adjourned for one hour. Upon reconvening, the Three Witnesses selected twelve men to be witnesses with them to the restored truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those chosen were Lyman E. Johnson, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, David W. Patten, Luke S. Johnson, William E. McLellin, John F. Boynton, Orson Pratt, William Smith, Thomas B. Marsh and Parley P. Pratt.—DHC 2:180-187; D&C 18:37-41.

128 - 129Authority of the Twelve. The Twelve Apostles hold "the keys to open up the authority of my (God's) kingdom upon the four corners of the earth." (D&C 124:128.) It is their duty, also, "to ordain and set in order all other officers of the Church. (D&C 107:58.) "The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the Church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles, and secondly unto the Jews." (D&C 107:33.) They are "special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world; and they form a quorum, equal in authority and power" to the First Presidency. (D&C 107:23-24.) The Twelve Apostles have full authority to perform any and all ordinances in the Church, under the direction of the First Presidency. (D&C 18:27-29; 0:38-44; 107:35; 124:127-128.)—PC 145.

129Supervision of the Melchizedek Quorums. By direction of the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve have general supervision of the quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood throughout the Church. From this Council will proceed plans of work, forms of reports and suggestions for the betterment of the work, and to this council also, the summarized reports of quorum activity will be sent. 7PM 64, 65.

12911. ASSISTANTS TO THE TWELVE

129The First Presidency and Twelve feel that to meet adequately their great responsibilities and to carry on efficiently this service for the Lord, they should have some help.

129Accordingly it has been decided to appoint assistants to the Twelve who shall be high priests, who shall be set apart to act under the direction of the Twelve in the performance of such work as the First Presidency and the Twelve may place upon them.

129Assistants to the Twelve will labor under the supervision and direction of the First Presidency and of the Twelve.

130The Assistants to the Twelve have jurisdiction in all matters assigned or delegated to them by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve. Being members of the general priesthood committee of the Church they are called to assist in the direction of all activities assigned to this committee.

13012. PRESIDING HIGH PRIESTS

130Presidency. Of necessity there are presidents, or presiding officers growing out of, or appointed of or from among those who are ordained to the several offices in these two Priesthoods. Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the Church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.—D&C 107:21, 22.

130The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of Presidency, and has power and authority over all the offices in the Church in all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things.

130The Presidency of the High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, have a right to officiate in all the offices in the Church.—D&C 107:8,9.

130It is not necessary that men should be ordained Apostles in order to hold the position of Counselor in the First Presidency. The leading fact to be remembered is that the Priesthood is greater than any of its offices; and that any man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood may, by virtue of its possession, perform any ordinance pertaining thereto, connected therewith, when called upon to do so by one holding the proper authority.—RQA, second series, p. 32.

130Method of Appointing Presiding Authorities. 8 Every president of the High Priesthood (or presiding Elder), Bishop, High Councilor, and High Priest, is to be ordained by the direction of a High Council or general conference.—D&C 20:67.

131The President of the Church. The President of the Church holds all the keys of authority of the Priesthood and of the Church upon the earth. He acts as the earthly head of the Church of which the Lord Jesus is the Eternal Head. There is only one man at a time upon the earth who holds these keys. He is the Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the Church, the only one authorized to receive revelation for the Church. The President of the Church is the living oracle of God to whom the Lord reveals whatever is necessary for the conduct of the Church. 9PC 145.

Footnotes

1. See also material in Chapter 1 on Melchizedek.

2. See Joseph Fielding Smith, Essentials in Church History, pp. 69-70, for an explanation of the source of this knowledge.

3. The office of Bishop is an office in the Aaronic Priesthood, filled, however, by High Priests in the Church today. See Section 8, "High Priests as Bishops and Bishops Counselors."

4. Hazen Aldrich, Zebedee Coltrin, Leonard Rich, Lyman Sherman, and Sylvester Smith were subsequently released, April 6, 1837, having been previously ordained High Priests. See Appendix, Smith, Essentials in Church History.

6. Bishops are called and ordained under the direction of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve. Men called as Bishops' Counselors are not ordained to the office of Bishop, but are ordained High Priests and set apart as Counselors to the Bishop.

7. It should be noted that since the Patriarchal dispensation, the Church has not been under the patriarchal organization. Eventually at the end of the earth this type of organization will again prevail. See Chapter 7 for the true function of the order today, especially sections 1 and 2.

8. See also a subsequent chapter, "The Apostleship and the Council of the Twelve."

9. See subsequent chapters dealing with Church Administration.

10. See also the chapter entitled, "The President and First Presidency of the Church."

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132Chapter 11

132THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD QUORUM

1321. QUORUMS REVEALED

132Quorum of the First Presidency. I give unto you my servant Joseph to be a Presiding Elder over all my Church, to be a Translator, a Revelator, a Seer, and Prophet.

132I give unto him for counselors my servant Sidney Rigdon and my servant William Law, that these may constitute a quorum and First Presidency, to receive the oracles for the whole Church."—D&C 124:125-6.

132Quorum of the Twelve. I give unto you my servant Brigham Young to be a president over the Twelve Traveling Council; which Twelve hold the keys to open up the authority of my kingdom upon the four corners of the earth, and after that to send my word to every creature. They are Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, William Smith, John Taylor, John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, George A. Smith.—D&C 124:127-129, 31.

132High Priests' Quorum. And again, I give unto you Don C. Smith to be a president over a Quorum of High Priests; which ordinance is instituted for the purpose of qualifying those who shall be appointed standing presidents or servants over different stakes scattered abroad; and they may travel also if they choose, but rather be ordained for standing presidents; this is the office of their calling, saith the Lord your God.

132I give unto him Amasa Lyman and Noah Packard for counselors, that they may preside over the Quorum of High Priests of my Church, saith the Lord.—D&C 124:133-136.

132 - 133Seventies' Quorum. And again, I give unto you Joseph Young, Josiah Butterfield, Daniel Miles, Henry Herriman, Zera Pulsipher, Levi Hancock, James Foster, to preside over the quorum of Seventies, which quorum is instituted for travelling Elders to bear record of my name in all the world, wherever the Travelling High Council, mine Apostles, shall send them to prepare a way before my face.

133The difference between this quorum and the quorum of elders is that one is to travel continually, and the other is to preside over the churches from time to time; the one has the responsibility of presiding from time to time, and the other has no responsibility of presiding, saith the Lord your God.—D&C 124:138-140.

133Elders' Quorum. And again, I say unto you, I give you John A. Hicks, Samuel Williams, and Jesse Baker, which Priesthood is to preside over the quorum of Elders, which quorum is instituted for standing ministers; nevertheless they may travel, yet they are ordained to be standing ministers to my Church, saith the Lord.—D&C 124:137.

133Purpose of the Quorum. Therefore, let every man stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling: and let not the head say unto the feet it hath no need of the feet; for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand? Also the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept perfect.—D&C 84:109-110.

133The above offices I have given unto you, and the keys thereof, for helps and for governments, for the work of the ministry and the perfecting of my saints.

133And a commandment I give unto you, that you should fill all these offices and approve of those names which I have mentioned, or else disapprove of them at my general conferences; and that ye should prepare rooms for all these offices in my house when you build it unto my name, saith the Lord your God. Even so. Amen.—D&C 124:143-145.

133Those ordained to the Priesthood, both to the Melchizedek and Aaronic, are organized into quorums in order that both old and young may be taught and become familiar with the order of the Priesthood which they hold, its keys of authority, the field of endeavor occupied by each quorum, and its limitations. The method of conducting quorum meetings should always have this purpose in view.—RCI, October 5, 1922.

1342. THE QUORUM DEFINED

134A quorum of the Priesthood consists of a specified group of men, holding the same office in the Priesthood, organized for the more efficient advancement of the work for which the Priesthood in the Church is responsible.—GQ 18.

134Wherever the membership is sufficiently large, quorums are organized with appropriate officers and activities. The quorums meet regularly, as separate groups, to study the Gospel, discuss their problems as a body of brethren, plan for their service to the Church, and render reports of work accomplished. These meetings, when conducted under the guiding spirit of the Lord, help greatly in developing the men of the Church. The ideal of Priesthood is service to others, based upon physical, economic, mental and spiritual excellence.—PC 139.

134The Quorums Distinguished. According to the revelations a quorum in each division of the Priesthood consists respectively of:

13412 Deacons (D&C 107:85).

13424 Teachers (D&C 107:86).

13448 Priests (D&C 107:87).

13496 Elders (D&C 107:89).

13470 Seventies (D&C 107:93-96).

134An indefinite number of High Priests constitute a quorum; usually all the High Priests in a stake form one quorum of High Priests.

134Patriarchs belong to the High Priests' quorum.

134The Twelve Apostles constitute a quorum.

134The three Presiding High Priests of the Church constitute the quorum of the First Presidency.

134Wherever possible the quorums of the Priesthood should be kept up to the full number. A majority, however, may constitute a quorum. Such a condition should not. however, diminish the activities of the quorum.—PM35,36.

134Ward groups of High Priests and Seventies should not be consolidated for the regular weekly quorum meeting.

135The essence of the Priesthood program is to develop to full capacity quorum consciousness and activity. This can be accomplished only if quorums meet separately in regular, preferably weekly, meetings.

135The Ward Quorum Organizations. 1 In every ward, if large enough, quorums of Deacons, Teachers, Priests, Elders and Seventy are organized. If there are not enough Elders and Seventy in one ward to form a quorum, then a quorum is organized from two or more wards in the same stake. The High Priests in a stake are usually assembled into one quorum for the stake. RT 106.

135The Quorum, a Brotherhood. The Priesthood is a great brotherhood, held together by the eternal and immutable laws that constitute the framework of the Gospel. The feeling of brotherhood should permeate the quorum. It should be the first concern of a quorum to help all members who may be in need temporarily, mentally, or spiritually. The spirit of brotherhood would be the directing force in all the plans and operations of the quorum. If this spirit be cultivated, wisely and persistently, no other organization will become more attractive to the man who holds the Priesthood.—GQ, Foreword.

1353. THE PRIMACY OF THE QUORUM

135The Quorum Integral in Church Organization. The organizations of the Church are but helps to the Priesthood. That places the Priesthood quorums in the position of leadership. They should be so ably conducted, so faithfully attended, so thoroughly serviceable, as to set an example to all other Church organizations. Necessarily, if a man must choose between loyalty to his Priesthood quorum and some other Church organization, however good, his duty is to the quorum.—IE, 1937, 760.

136I then observed to the quorums, that I had now completed the organization of the Church, and we had passed through all the necessary ceremonies, that I had given them all the instruction they needed, and that they now were at liberty, after obtaining their licenses, to go forth and build up the kingdom of God.—T 110.

136Ultimate Place of the Quorum in the Church Program. We expect to see the day when every council of the Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will understand its duty, will assume its own responsibility, will magnify its calling, and fill its place in the Church, to the uttermost, according to the intelligence and ability possessed by it. When that day shall come, there will not be so much necessity for work that is now being done by the auxiliary organizations, because it will be done by the regular quorums of the Priesthood. 2 The Lord designed and comprehended it from the beginning, and He has made provision in the Church whereby every need may be met and satisfied through the regular organizations of the Priesthood. It has truly been said that the Church is perfectly organized. The only trouble is that these organizations are not fully alive to the obligations that rest upon them. When they become thoroughly awakened to the requirements made of them, they will fulfil their duties more faithfully and the work of the Lord will be all the stronger and more powerful and influential in the world.—GD 159.

136Temporal and Spiritual Salvation Dependent on Quorum. For the temporal and spiritual salvation of the Church and all its members, the General Authorities of the Church are looking toward greater quorum consciousness. The Church Welfare plan, and many other avenues of Church activity, offer to quorums of the Priesthood their present opportunity for security, fraternity, service, and the enrichment of life in home, Church and community.—IE, 1937, 761.

137The Priesthood of God on earth has been organized into quorums for the mutual good of the members, and for the advancement of the Church. A quorum, which meets merely to study lessons, only partially accomplishes its purposes. A quorum, the members of which barely know each other by name, almost fails of its purpose. A quorum that is not more attractive to its members than any club, has missed its opportunity.

137The responsibility to make the quorum all that it should be rests upon all members of the quorum alike. While the presidency of the quorum should take the lead in efforts for improvement, yet every member should feel the obligation of giving help by suggestions or by participation in the necessary work. The quorum is an organization for free speech, in wisdom and love.—GQ, Foreword.

137Quorum Work to Harmonize with Ward and Stake Authorities. It is of the utmost importance that the quorum in all of its work keep in close touch with ward and stake officers. No dates for outside activities should be set and no plans beyond the regular work of the quorum should be executed until after consultation with the ward and stake officers concerned. It is the duty of this committee, therefore, to secure for the use of the quorum, information concerning open dates and projected events in the ward or stake.—GQ 76.

137Do not feel that the upbuilding of quorum spirit and consciousness is an attempt to set the Priesthood quorums aside as independent, separate, distinct entities in the Church. The quorums with their members are parts of the body of the Church, and as one part of the body cannot function well unless it is in harmony and co-ordination with every other part, the quorums must be in full co-ordination with ward and stake organizations.—IE1938, 360.

137 - 138There need be no conflict between the quorums and Ward Bishops or Stake Presidents. These officers 3 in the last analysis, are administrative officers of the Priesthood as well as of the lay members of the Church, and therefore a part of any righteous Priesthood movement to bless and help. (IE, 1938, 203.) However, the quorums of the Priesthood must assume pre-eminence in all Church activities. 4IE, 1937, 760.

1384. MEMBERSHIP AND ITS DUTIES

138Admission to Quorum Membership. 5 Every person holding the Priesthood should be enrolled and received as a member of the appropriate quorum having jurisdiction in the ward in which his Church membership is recorded.

138Recommendations from one quorum to another are not required. Members are admitted into the quorum as follows:

138The certificate of ordination should be carefully preserved by the person ordained; and, whenever necessary, it should be presented to the proper authority as an evidence of his ordination. Upon this evidence he should be admitted to membership in the usual manner by the quorum having jurisdiction in the ward or stake where he resides, provided he has been accepted as a member of the ward. If he does not possess a certificate of ordination, and the recommend upon which he is received in the ward names his Priesthood and ordination, it should be accepted as evidence that he holds that office, provided there is no evidence to the contrary, and provided he has been admitted as a member of the ward in full fellowship.

138 - 139When a person holding the Priesthood removes from one ward to another and is accepted as a member of the ward into which he moves, it becomes the duty of the ward clerk to notify the president of the quorum of the arrival of this person. The new member should present his certificate of ordination as evidence that he holds the Priesthood, and upon that certificate he should be presented for admission to membership in the quorum to which members of that ward holding the same Priesthood belong. It is the duty of the quorum secretary to report to the group secretary every such newly arrived member, who should be enrolled in the group whether he has attended a ward group or quorum meeting or not.

139When a member holding the Priesthood becomes a member of the ward, the proper quorum officer having jurisdiction should look after him and see that he becomes enrolled in the quorum.

139It is the duty of the secretary of a High Priests' or Elders' quorum to prepare certificates of ordination, and to have them signed by the president and secretary of the quorum, presented to the ward clerk to be entered upon the ward record, and then delivered to the persons in whose favor they are issued. Seventies' quorums, however, do not issue certificates of ordination. These are issued by the First Council of the Seventy. Therefore, Seventies' quorums should not be provided with certificates. When a person is ordained to the office of Seventy, either the secretary of the quorum or the stake clerk should write to the First Council of the Seventy, requesting a certificate of ordination to be mailed or delivered to the quorum secretary, and after it has been entered on the quorum record and group record, it should be delivered to the person for whom it is issued.

139When a quorum withdraws its fellowship from one of its members, a report of the action of the quorum should be sent to the Bishop of the ward.—GD 166-167.

139Responsibility of the Quorum to New Ward Members. When a member holding the Priesthood becomes a member of the ward, the proper quorum officer having jurisdiction should look after him and see that he becomes enrolled in the quorum.—RCI, May 9, 1916.

139 - 140Responsibility of the Member to the Quorum. If the quorum thus assumes responsibility for the welfare of its members, it follows that each member must dedicate himself to the task imposed upon the quorum. A man who accepts the Priesthood accepts the obligations of the Priesthood, and should so conduct his life and use his gifts as to be qualified to perform the work properly required of those who hold the Priesthood. He should prepare himself by careful training and earnest labor, to assume the five-fold responsibility of all who hold the Priesthood:

1401. He should keep himself fit, physically, mentally, and spiritually, to do the work of the Priesthood.

1402. He should so provide, temporally and spiritually, for his family, that they will not suffer because of his labors in the Priesthood.

1403. He should develop such a relationship with society, that is his fellow-men, that he can readily and effectively work with and for other men. This is essential in his work in the Priesthood.

1404. He should practice the arts of citizenship, so that his loyalty to his country and to its laws and institutions may be unquestioned, otherwise his work in the Priesthood will be hindered.

1405. He should maintain the proper active relationship to the Church, by living its precepts and participating in its activities and ordinances.—PM, 41.

140Every quorum member should so thoroughly identify himself with his quorum that it would become as it were a clearing house for all the serious affairs of his life.—GQ, Foreword.

140 - 141We have High Priests' quorums or councils, and we have Seventies' councils and those of the Elders. Then we have the councils of the Priests, Teachers and Deacons in the Lesser Priesthood. These councils each and all in their organized capacity have jurisdiction over the fellowship of the members of these councils. If the member is an Elder, or if a man has a standing in the Seventies' quorum, or in the High Priests' quorum, and he is misbehaving himself, shows a lack of faith, a lack of reverence for the position he holds in his council, or quorum, his fellowship in that quorum to which he belongs, or his standing should be looked after or inquired into, for he is amenable to his quorum for his good standing and fellowship in it. So that we have the check that the Lord has placed upon members of the Church, and when I say members of the Church, I mean me, I mean the Apostles, I mean the High Priests and the Seventies and the Elders. I mean everybody who is a member of the Church."—GD 151.

141Jurisdiction of the Quorum Over Its Fellowship. When a quorum withdraws its fellowship from one of its members, a report of the action of the quorum should be sent to the Bishop of the ward.—RC 1, May 9, 1916.

1415. QUORUM SUPERVISION: CHURCH, STAKE AND WARD

141General Supervision. By direction of the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve have general supervision of the quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood throughout the Church. From this Council will proceed plans of work, forms of reports and suggestions for the betterment of the work, and to this Council also, the summarized reports of quorum activity will be sent.—GQ 85.

141In turn the First Council of Seventy have immediate charge of the quorums of Seventy, which in that case are Church quorums.

141Stake Supervision. All quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood in a stake of Zion are under the supervision and direction of the Stake Presidency, 6 except as noted with respect to the Seventy.

141The Seventies have a dual responsibility—one to the First Council of the Seventy, and the other to the presiding officers of the stake and wards in which the Seventies reside. In fact, however, this condition does not cause any conflict. The First Council of the Seventy should inform the Stake Presidency of all important matters that issue from the office of the First Council to the quorums of Seventies residing within any particular stake.—GQ 84.

142Ward Supervision. Ward Priesthood groups 7 are under the usual ward supervision. A member of a Priesthood quorum must make no attempt to exempt himself from his duties as a ward member. On the contrary, the Bishop should have no more willing or efficient staff than the members of the Melchizedek Priesthood living in the ward. Such reports as are necessary or required should be made to the ward Bishopric. As already said, all the work of the ward Priesthood should be done with approval of the ward Priesthood officers.

142Priesthood Supervision in the Missions. (See Chapter 26, "The Missions of the Church.")

1426. QUORUM SUPERVISION: THE QUORUM OFFICERS

142Nomination and Acceptance of Quorum Officers. The revelations provide for officers of the quorums of the various divisions of the Priesthood.

142Each quorum of Deacons or Teachers is presided over by a president, with a first and second counselor, chosen by the Bishop of the ward to which the quorum belongs, and accepted by the members of the quorum. A quorum of Priests is presided over by the Bishop of the ward to which the quorum belongs.

142 - 143A quorum of Elders is presided over by a president, chosen by the Presidency of the Stake, to which the quorum belongs, and a first and second counselor chosen by the President with the approval of the Stake Presidency, and accepted by the members of the quorum. A quorum of Seventies is presided over by a council of seven presidents, who are recommended by the Stake Presidency, approved and set apart by the First Council of the Seventy or by the Council of the Twelve Apostles, Assistants, and accepted by the members of the quorum. The senior president, in a quorum of Seventy, is the presiding officer of the council. A quorum of High Priests is presided over by a president

144Organization for the Supervision of Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums

144with a first and a second counselor, the president being chosen by the Stake Presidency, approved by the First Presidency or their representative, and accepted by the quorum. The counselors are chosen by the quorum president with the approval of the Stake Presidency and similar acceptance.

144All quorum officers should be sustained from time to time, the officers of the Aaronic Priesthood in the ward conferences, and the officers of the Melchizedek Priesthood in the stake conferences.—GQ 21.

144Responsibility of Officers. The responsibility of officers is to account for every person who belongs and who should belong to the quorum.

144The word "account" is here used advisedly. Mere enrollment is not sufficient. Every one should be accounted for, which means that his value to the group should be estimated, his attitude studied, and the reasons for his standing understood.

144To account for him is to know something of his home environment, of his daily vocation, of his avocation, of his social interests, etc., etc. Such a record will aid materially in efforts to be of service to him, when such service may be needed.—RQA, Second Series, 1931, 9.

144Keys to Efficient Leadership. The first great need of any quorum is efficient leadership, a leadership that will say, "Come, let us go;" a leadership that will strive to emulate the Great Teacher who said: "I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done."

144The following questions are suggested as standards that every quorum officer should accept as his aim and guide.

1441. Are you willing to accept this position and to perform the duties thereof to the best of your ability?

1442. Can you support the present Church, stake and ward authorities?

1443. Are you in harmony with your associates in the quorum?

1444. Do you observe the Word of Wisdom?

1445. Are you a faithful tithe-payer?

1456. Do you realize that regular and prompt attendance at quorum meeting is an essential element in quorum success?

1457. Do you accept the obligations of this position to attend to such important duties as attendance at quarterly conferences, Sacrament meetings, Gospel Doctrine class, Stake Priesthood gatherings? etc.

145Supervision of Divided Quorums. Where the quorum has two or more ward groups, each group under the direction of the quorum presidency, each ward group should have a presiding officer, a group secretary, and a group class-leader. The ward groups should meet as a quorum once a month.—IE, 1937, 768.

1457. THE QUORUM PRESIDENCY

145Under any plan adopted for the advancement of the quorums of the Priesthood, the presidency of a quorum are the responsible directing officers. From them should come the inspiration for the progress of the quorum. All committees are appointed by and responsible to the quorum through the presidency. The presidency must find ways and means by which they are in touch with all the work of the quorum. They should attempt to make personal calls upon every member of the quorum, at least once a year.—GQ 79-80.

145Presidency Should Meet Regularly. An indispensable requirement for the success of a quorum of Priesthood is a regular meeting of the quorum presidency. The secretary also should attend this meeting. Matters relating to the duties of the presidency and of the quorum should be freely and frankly considered, no one should feel hindered or inhibited in the expression of his views. A unity of opinion and especially of action on quorum matters should be arrived at before they are presented to the members concerned.—PM 41.

145 - 146Effective Committee Administration Depends on Presidencies. The quorum presidency should carefully and regularly call for reports from the various committees; 8 and the reports received should be given full attention, with a view of correcting errors, or of promoting by new methods the welfare of the quorum.

146A regular order of business should be adopted by the quorum presidency. A program of business should be carefully prepared for each meeting. The quorum secretary should be present at the meetings of the quorum presidency, so that proper records may be kept.—GQ 83-84.

146Appointment of Group Leaders. The quorum presidency or a representative thereof in consultation with the Bishopric of the ward should appoint the group leader. No leader or any group in a ward, whether High Priests, Seventies, or Elders should be chosen, much less spoken to, before the Bishopric of the ward has been consulted.—PM 31-32.

1468. QUORUM SECRETARY (AND GROUP SECRETARY)

146Duties. Under the plan for quorum activities now proposed, the quorum or group secretary is a very important officer. All records of the labors and findings of the committees should reach the quorum secretary, by whom they are arranged, digested and presented in accordance with the wishes of the quorum presidency. It is the duty of the secretary to act as the custodian for all the permanent records of the quorum.

146It is his duty to attend all quorum meetings, including the meeting of the presidency. At regularly stated intervals he should meet the group secretaries, with whom he should always be in close touch.—PM 42.

146A minute should be kept of each meeting and read at the succeeding meeting for correction and approval.—PM 74.

146 - 147Quorum Rolls and Records. Each quorum should have one roll only, and every person holding the Priesthood should be enrolled in the quorum having jurisdiction in the ward where his Church membership is recorded. The practice of keeping a supplemental or inactive roll is not approved.—RC 1, May 9, 1916.

147Group Rolls and Records. The group roll book contains the same information as the official quorum record. The group roll, as its name indicates, is for the use of groups. It is the duty of the secretary of the group to make a weekly record of all activities of the members of the group and transmit this at the end of each quarter to the quorum secretary. This duty should be performed regularly in order that each member of the quorum may have a record of his activity in the official quorum record.—PM 73.

147Compilation of Group Records. The secretary of the quorum composed of ward groups should compile the group records to be reported to the stake clerk. The ward group secretary should report to the quorum secretary, who in turn will report the compiled information to the stake clerk. The ward groups must not become separate entities; they are but divisions of the quorum. For that reason, also, it is very important that every quorum made up of ward groups meet as a quorum at least once a month, and that regularly.—IE, 1938, 422.

147Reports. Report forms will be sent from Church headquarters. It will be the responsibility of the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee to see to it that these reports are made.—IE, 1937, 769.

1479. QUORUM FUNDS

147Necessity and Uses of Funds. Many quorum projects yield an income. For example, a sugar beet growing project will yield some money when the beets are paid for by the factory. 9 What shall be done with funds that are obtained through quorum activities?

148First, every quorum should build up a quorum fund. A quorum should always have at its command a quorum fund with which to meet quorum needs.

148It is perfectly legitimate and proper to draw upon quorum funds to assist needy quorum brethren and their families. However, help to needy brethren discovered by the personal welfare committee or otherwise should not be given except after consultation with the Bishop. The quorum should first satisfy itself by consultation with the Bishop as to the needs of the brother in question and what other aid is being given to him through the agencies of the Church properly established for such purposes.—IE, 1938, 360.

148Presidencies Responsible for Funds. Quorum Presidencies are the authorized receivers and custodians of all quorum funds.

148All proposed expenditures, before being made, should be presented to the quorum for approval.

148Withdrawals, properly authorized, should be made by checks signed by the president and secretary of the quorum, or by the finance committee, if one has been appointed.

148All funds collected for special purposes, and also quorum allotment for the Welfare program, may be disbursed as above.

148Before quorum help is given missionaries or members in need, consultation should be had concerning each case with the Bishop or Ward Welfare committee, to determine the worthiness of the case and to avoid duplication of effort.

148Extraordinary or large disbursements, such as loans, investments, etc., should be made only after consultation with the Stake Presidency. Special care should be taken to secure properly any loans made by suitable collateral or reliable endorsement.

148Before making any loan or investment or any appropriation of funds, careful consideration of the quorum presidency and authorization of the quorum members should be received.—IE, 1938, 168.

149Expenditure and Handling. A word about the handling of quorum funds. Neither the president of the quorum nor his counselors, nor quorum members are authorized to use money belonging to the quorum fund. Every expenditure from quorum funds should be upon the vote of the quorum—not necessarily as to details, but in general. The quorum should be made aware of every proposed project and expenditure and be party to it by voting for it. Then, the actual draft upon the quorum fund should be made upon an order signed by the quorum president and preferably also by his two counselors.

149Since all Melchizedek Priesthood quorums in the stake are stake organizations (the Seventy being also under the jurisdiction of the First Council of the Seventy, and in that sense Church quorums), the quorum presidency should always be in touch with the Stake Presidency as to the advisability of making the expenditures approved by the quorum. No expenditure should be made which is not approved by the Stake Presidency.

149Quorums should not speculate, and thereby endanger their resources. They are to keep their moneys intact, safe and whole, and expend them under proper authority for the worthy purposes of Priesthood activity.

149All moneys paid by a quorum for Church Welfare purposes or for the support of the poor within the quorum, should be receipted for by the Bishop. The receipt is an evidence that the quorum has done the work and placed the quorum activity upon the books of the Church.—IE, 1938, 360.

14910. QUORUM PURPOSES

149The quorums of the Priesthood provide organizations through which the purposes of the Lord with respect to the Priesthood may be more completely accomplished.

149 - 150One main purpose of a quorum of the Priesthood is to help every individual member of the quorum, and his family, to attain a condition of thorough well-being in body, mind, and spirit. Every need of a man holding the Priesthood should be the concern of the quorum to which he belongs.

150Another important purpose of a quorum of the Priesthood, closely connected with the personal welfare of the members, is to help the Church itself in the accomplishment of the divine duties imposed upon the organized body of Latter-day Saints. The members of the quorums should be trained and developed to understand and to perform the work in which the Church is engaged.—GQ 24.

150This means that, in all of its activities, a quorum of the Priesthood must keep in mind the threefold duty which rests upon the Church, namely:

1501. To keep the members of the Church in the way of their full duty.

1502. To teach the Gospel to those who have not yet heard it or accepted it.

1503. To provide for the dead, through the ordinances of the temple, the means by which the dead, if obedient, may participate in the blessings that are enjoyed by those who have won citizenship in the Kingdom of God.

150A Priesthood quorum, to magnify its opportunities and to justify its existence, must develop its members for greater fitness to aid in these three great divisions of Church activity. 10GQ 25.

150The Four Objectives. Four great objectives have long been set up for the quorums of the Priesthood:

1501. To become better acquainted, through careful study, with the doctrines of the Gospel and their applications to life.

1502. To render regularly some service to the Church.

1503. To care for the personal welfare of every quorum member, temporally, intellectually, and spiritually.

1514. To engage in miscellaneous activities, socials, outings, etc., etc., by which the quorum members may find outlets for their normal social needs, give employment to their families, and extend their companionship with other quorums and groups within the Church.—IE, 1938, 203-205.

15111.QUORUM PROJECTS

151Projects—The Proof of an Active Priesthood. The study course is always important. We must learn. The Church is founded in knowledge. But knowledge and doing should go together. Quorum projects represent the doing part of quorum activity. We study the Gospel as we meet as quorums, and then between times we carry into full execution the doctrines of the Gospel that we have learned and discussed. The stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee should see to it that such projects and activities are in all the quorums of the stake.—IE, 1938, 550-551.

151 - 152Principles Underlying Project Development. We have in mind particularly projects in which the whole quorum is engaged, projects in which all the committees and members take part. Such projects are undertaken for general quorum purposes. Any quorum need or desire 11 may be set up as a quorum project. Such quorum projects furnish opportunities by which all members of the quorum, by being together, and working and building together, establish more completely the feeling and spirit of brotherhood, which should be at the bottom of all Priesthood activities. For that reason projects which do not lend themselves to cooperative action are not the best quorum projects. Projects should be chosen that bring all members of the quorum together, if possible, in one concerted effort to achieve a common goal. We should foster the brother-hood spirit through our quorum activities and projects.—IE, 1938, 296.

152Recreational Projects. Recreational activities are essential to quorum success. Several times a year the whole quorum should meet in social gatherings.

152These quorum affairs may take many forms: A visit to one of the canyons, with games, campfire and an old-fashioned camp-meal; a visit to a farm when peaches, grapes or apples are ripe, where for a small sum, fruit may be picked, games played, and another campfire meal; a quorum excursion, in these days of automobiles, to a nearby place of historical interest or natural beauty, with a discussion of the objects of interest, and a meal together, or any one of a number of such quorum gatherings, fitting the summer weather that may be planned by the committee on social activities.—IE, 1938, 489.

152Church Welfare Projects. Every quorum of the Priesthood should have a project of its own, the nature of the project having been approved by the Ward Employment committee and the Stake Welfare committee. Such projects should have for their objective, the taking care of those within their quorum first, and then the supplying of material assistance to those elsewhere who may not be so favored. Assistance in building homes, aiding in the cultivation of farms, saving of mortgaged homes from foreclosure, counseling with quorum members who need wisdom and direction from those more experienced, all these and many other matters are practical applications of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that will be made when Priesthood quorums sense their responsibility to the members of their quorum, and when they come to realize the full meaning of the word of the Lord that:

152 - 153"Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them wherein they are agents within themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward." (D&C, 58:27-28.)—IE, 1937, 633.

15312. THE GENERAL MEETING PLAN

153The Prophet's Comments on Priesthood Assemblies. A few days before the organization of this High Council, the Prophet addressed a council of High Priests and Elders on the subject of the proper order in such gatherings. "In ancient days," he said, "councils were conducted with such strict propriety that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or the voice of the Council, by the Spirit, was obtained, which has not been observed in this Church to the present time.—HCII,25.

15313. FULL QUORUM MEETINGS

153Members of Melchizedek Priesthood quorums should meet at least once a month in full quorum capacity. When the quorum is integral with the ward it should meet weekly, when it is not each ward group should meet weekly. Special quorum meetings or special group meetings may be held as occasion requires.—GQ 23.

153Non-Members. Non-members of the Church should not be admitted to Priesthood quorums when the quorums meet. 12RC, 1, 1928.

Footnotes

1. It should be noted that the quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood, i.e., Elders, Seventies, and High Priests, are usually organized on stake lines and present a problem in stake administration for which the Stake Presidency is responsible. The administrative capacity of the Ward Bishopric extends only to jurisdiction over the Aaronic quorums. See especially in this chapter section 5, "Quorum Administration."

2. A general co-ordination committee on Church Program was called into being by President Heber J. Grant in 1938 to effect a more thorough motivation, by the Priesthood, of the various activities now sponsored by the Church.

3. I.e., the bishops and stake presidents

4. Here again it may be noted there is a difference in degree and jurisdiction between "quorum activities" and "Church activities"—but not in kind. Church activities are directed by the administrative officers of territorial jurisdiction. i.e., wards and stakes. Quorum leadership should direct their quorums so that "pre-eminence" is attained in these "Church activities." The quorums of the Priesthood form the chief administrative machinery of the Church. If they are not such in actual practice their function is not properly understood.

5. Proper ordinations are assumed in the above routine.

6. A Stake Melchizedek Priesthood Committee aids the Stake Presidency in the supervision of the quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood in the Stake. (See Chapter 25, Sections 5, 14.)

7. Ward Priesthood quorum groups are formed when the members of a quorum reside in more than one ward. In such a case, as a matter of convenience, the quorum members of each ward usually meet weekly as a quorum group, and monthly as a quorum, but each group carries on the study course and other Priesthood activities.

8. See Chapter 12 for the place of the committee system in quorum administration.

9. Under the Welfare Plan a multitude of similar projects await Priesthood initiative in the various quorums. The Plan is not one of "relief" for the needy alone, but for the promotion of the economic welfare of all. Herein lies the challenge and the task.

10. Naturally, all this implies that the quorum will do much more than merely conduct a study lesson once a week. The best preparation for missionary service at home or abroad may be obtained by participation in rounded, wholesome, Priesthood-directed activity, under the spirit of the Gospel.

11. What are "quorum needs or desires?" Do all quorum members have adequate housing? Are houses and other property in good repair? Do all quorum members and their families have adequate medical care? Could it be provided on a cooperative basis? Do all have adequate food during all seasons of the year? Could a quorum "quick-freezing" process-project supply this need? In rural as well as metropolitan areas, "the field is white unto harvest," provided the quorums develop to their full capacity in meeting these "needs." (See Priesthood and Church Welfare, the 1939 study course.)

12. This does not apply of course to the meetings of the quorums conducted in the Sunday School Gospel Doctrine classes, but to quorum meetings as such.

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154Chapter 12

154QUORUM ADMINISTRATION: THE COMMITTEE SYSTEM

154General Plan of Quorum Administration. 1 The general Priesthood plan provides for the appointment of committees of quorum members for each division of quorum activity.

154Each committee should consist of several members, the number, of course, being dependent upon the size of the quorum or group. The members of the quorum presidency and the secretary may act as members of the committees, or the presidency may prefer to act as a general supervising body. Whenever a member of the presidency of a Priesthood quorum is appointed on one of the committees he is ex-officio chairman of that committee of the quorum. One member of the committee should be appointed secretary to the committee, who should keep in constant touch with the quorum secretary.

154Sub-committees may be appointed from the main committees, to look after special features of the work.

154Such other committees as the quorum may need may be appointed.

154As far as possible, every member of the group should be assigned to some definite activity.—PM 45-46.

154Committee Meetings: The standing committees should have a regular time of meeting, preferably each week.

154A meeting at least once a month should be held.

154The committees should have a regular order of business, so that the work in hand may be disposed of expeditiously.

156Diagram Showing Means of Study and Activity in Melchizedek Quorums

156The projects considered by the committees should be defined carefully and recorded by the secretary.

156After the projects of the work of the committee have been approved, assignments of portions of the work may be made among the members of the committee or to members of the quorum not otherwise assigned.

156It is the duty of each committee to make the work in its charge function. To that end, the committee must exert all its powers. No plan, however perfect or simple, works itself. It must be put into operation, and made to work continuously by the men responsible for the work.—PM 46.

156General Obligations of the Priesthood to Teach and Learn. The bearers of the Priesthood are under the obligation to deliver the message of the Everlasting Gospel to the world. They must know the content and meaning of that message. Class instruction in the history and doctrines of the Gospel must therefore always form a large part of quorum work.

156This is accomplished in two classes. The first is the Gospel Doctrine class of the Sunday School, but under the direct supervision of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and open to the Priesthood and all other mature members of the Church. The study course for the class deals essentially with the doctrines of the Church.

156The second is the class study period of the quorum or quorum group period attended only by Priesthood bearers. Here are studied such subjects, usually dealing with living needs, as may be prepared for class study by the General Authorities of the Church.

156It should be held in mind that Elders, Seventies and High Priests follow the same study course from year to year. Quorums that meet as quorums only once a month, usually pursue a special subject for that month, a subject at the option of the quorum.

157Every member of the quorum should provide himself with current courses of study and to actively promote educational activities for the entire quorum.—PM 49.

157Courses of Study. The class instructors, as well as the teacher of the Gospel Doctrine class, are expected to follow the prescribed quorum courses of study, even though they might have preference for some other line of thought. They should thoroughly prepare each lesson, amplifying the suggestions given in the text and in the "Instructor," and applying to the class the truths taught in the lesson as outlined.—PM 44-45.

157Brigham Young on the Use of Education. Education is a good thing, and blessed is the man who has it, and can use it for the dissemination of the Gospel without being puffed up with pride.—D 245.

157Studious Attitude on Part of Quorum Members. It should be the pride of every man holding the Priesthood to have a good personal collection of books dealing with Church and secular subjects. The department of class instruction should encourage the formation of such private libraries, and also the habit of reading the books that are bought.

157An acquaintanceship with the literature of the world may be won by any person who will devote half an hour a day to the careful reading of the best books. The habit of reading good books is one that gives great comfort in all the stages and among all the vicissitudes of life. The man who has learned to love good reading is never alone. His friends are the great ones of human history, and to them he may always go for stimulating and helpful communion.—GQ 71.

157The Church a Product of Priesthood. 2 The prime duty of every quorum of the Priesthood is to help advance the work of the Church. The committee appointed for this work is charged with the duty of seeking out opportunities for such quorum service.—GQ 71-72.

158Recruiting of Personnel for Various Church Organizations. The members of the quorums of the Priesthood should stand ready to accept such calls as may be made for assistance in the various organizations of the Church. The quorum officers should stand ready with their knowledge of the qualifications and availability of quorum members to cooperate with stake or ward officers who may be seeking assistance from the quorum. It should be the aim of the quorum to have all of its members render some Church service beyond that required directly by the quorum.—GQ 72.

158Relation to Bishops. The quorum should at all times be prepared to render service to the Bishop of the ward. There are few, if any, more important items of service in the ward than the block teaching. It is expected that quorums will be so well organized that when a quorum is called on by the Bishop to undertake all or a part of the ward teaching, it will respond with 100 per cent efficiency. In no way could it more effectively demonstrate its vitality in Church service.—GQ 72.

158Missionary Activity. There will always be a great demand for missionaries to serve in the foreign field. When we recall that our duty as a Church is to preach the Gospel, to "every nation, tongue, and kindred," and then consider the handful of people constituting the membership of the Church, it is clear that there will never be a surplus of missionaries for the foreign service. The committee on Church Service should consult with the committee on Personal Welfare to discover those who, in the quorum, are able to go away on foreign missions, and who are qualified to render service in the mission field. 3GQ 72-73.

158 - 159Stake Missionary Activity. All members of a quorum of the Priesthood, who are not away on missions, should be kept busy at home. 4 There is enough work for all to do. The stake maintains a stake missionary force to labor among delinquent members of the Church, and among non-members resident within the geographical boundaries of the stake. The stake missions offer splendid opportunities for Church service. This committee should classify the members of the quorum for these and other similar services in the home mission field and should keep the Bishops, Stake Presidency, and officers of the auxiliary organizations informed concerning the available material in the quorum.—GQ 73-74.

159Instructions in Performing Ordinances. The members of the Priesthood may be called upon at any time to render assistance in the ordinances of the Church. quorum members should therefore be familiar with the authorized methods of performing these ordinances. 5 Every man holding the Priesthood should know how to bless and name babies, baptize candidates for membership in the Church, confirm the baptized members, administer the Sacrament, anoint the sick and seal the anointing.—GQ 75.

159Planning Church Activity. It would be well to plan several affairs in which the quorum members and their wives might join in some form of Church activity. For instance, quorum temple excursions would be of great value. On occasions missionary meetings might be held, at which returned missionaries might preach the Gospel, as it is done abroad. There, too, could be devised many affairs of interest to everybody, and of special value to the Priesthood.—GQ 74-75.

159 - 160Social and Recreational Responsibility. At not too infrequent intervals the quorum should be enabled to meet socially, usually with their wives or sweethearts, if unmarried. The dates when the first Elders, Seventies or High Priests were ordained in this dispensation or local historical events, might be the occasions for quorum social gatherings. Dinners, dances, excursions, picnics—these and other similar affairs would do much to unite quorum members together in bonds of friendship. Musical, dramatic and artistic efforts of any nature, under quorum supervision, would be enjoyed by the quorum members. If sought for, an abundance of talent would be found among the members and families of every Priesthood quorum.

160Other Activities. A few minutes of the quorum or group meeting under the head of "miscellaneous business" might profitably be given to the presentation of information of general interest. The committee on social and "miscellaneous activities" might profitably undertake the preparation and arrange for the presentation of such data.

160Any of the magazines that present world news in a condensed form would be useful in giving a brief survey of political, art or scientific news. Properly presented, after careful preparation, a few minutes of such news reviews would make the meeting hour very attractive. Nearly all the members of Priesthood quorums are engaged in business. Crop reports, market conditions and quotations, world demands and anything else of like nature that affects the industrial welfare of the quorum members, might well be presented. In fact, the quorum meetings should offer to the quorum members all possible information for the promotion of their interests. If thought desirable bulletins on items of interest might be issued by this department, on the quorum blackboard or mimeographed sheets.—GQ 76-77.

Footnotes

1. The material in this chapter refers to the individual quorum and its internal organization, supervision, and conduct. For the work of the Stake Melchizedek Priesthood Committee and its relationships in this connection see Chapter 25, Section 5, and accompanying diagrams.

2. See Chapter 5, especially Section 2.

3. Many worthy men fully entitled to missionary experiences and able to render great service are unable to accept missionary calls because of financial handicaps. Through the Church Service Committee such cases should receive the attention of the quorum.

4. This committee should also keep in touch with the foreign missionaries of the quorum, reporting on them to the quorum from time to time.

5. See Chapter 29, "Ordinances and Ceremonies."

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161Chapter 13

161THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD: ITS OFFICES AND QUORUMS

1611. ORIGIN OF NAME

161The second Priesthood is called the Priesthood of Aaron, because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations.

162Why it is called the Lesser Priesthood is because it is an appendage to the greater, or the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has power to administer outward ordinances.

162Aaron held the Melchizedek Priesthood, and presided over the Lesser Priesthood in his day as the Presiding Bishop—a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek—presides over the Lesser Priesthood in our day. His sons were the Priests of ancient Israel, holding probably the office of Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. It seems very likely that the tribe of Levi was fully organized according to the order of the Lesser Priesthood, for, both names and function, recorded in the Pentateuch, pertaining to the Levites, suggest such complete organization.—SP 15.

162James E. Talmage's Outline of the Aaronic Priesthood. The Aaronic Priesthood is named after Aaron, who was given to Moses as his mouthpiece, to act under his direction in the carrying out of God's purposes respecting Israel. For this reason it is sometimes called the Lesser Priesthood; but though "lesser" it is neither small nor insignificant. While Israel journeyed in the wilderness, Aaron and his sons were called by prophecy and set apart for the duties of the Priest's office.

162At a later period the Lord chose the tribe of Levi to assist Aaron in the priestly functions, the special duties of the Levites being to keep the instruments and attend to the service of the tabernacle. The Levites were to take the place of the firstborn throughout the tribes, whom the Lord had claimed for His service from the time of the last dread plague in Egypt, whereby the firstborn in every Egyptian house was slain, while the eldest in every Israelitish house was hallowed and spared. The commission thus given to the Levites is sometimes called the Levitical Priesthood; it is to be regarded as an appendage to the Priesthood of Aaron, not comprising the highest priestly powers. The Aaronic Priesthood, as restored to the earth in this dispensation, includes the Levitical order.—AF 204.

1632. AUTHORITY AND DUTIES

163General. The power and authority of the Lesser or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the Gospel—the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the Covenants and Commandments.—D&C 107:20-21.

163On the spiritual side: (1) This Priesthood holds the keys to the ministering of angels; that is, the right to hold this power and to confer it upon others—that the heavens may be opened and angels minister to men on earth; (2) it also gives authority to preach repentance to the world, and to baptize by immersion for the remission of sins; (3) in fact, it authorizes those who possess this power to be standing ministers to the people and to look after their needs in a temporal and spiritual way.—CG 36.

163On the temporal side: (1) It belongs to this Priesthood to receive and disburse the tithes of the people under the direction of the Presidency of the Church; (2) to build temples, houses of worship, and houses of learning, and to equip, beautify, and adorn them; (3) to buy lands and assist settling the Saints thereon, or in other words, "to help lay the foundations of Zion;" (4) "to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints;" (5) to transact business for the Church, and attend to its secular affairs; and (6) to look after the poor, the widow and the orphan.—CG 35.

1633. RESTORATION OF THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD

163John Held the Keys. From generation to generation the tribe of Levi performed the priestly labors of Israel, up to the time of John, known as the Baptist, the forerunner of the Christ. The coming of Christ ended the Mosaic law. The Gospel in its fulness was again established. The Melchizedek Priesthood, which includes the Lesser, was conferred. John was commissioned to close the Mosaic dispensation in preparation for the mission of the Savior. He did so, and became the last man who held the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood.—SP 15.

164Nature of the Event: Directed by Authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, May 15, 1829, by John the Baptist, who averred that he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, the ancient Apostles, who held the keys of the Higher Priesthood, which was called the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The promise was given to Joseph and Oliver that in due time the Priesthood of Melchizedek would be conferred upon them.—Compare D&C 27:7, 8, 12.

164John's Message: Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. 1D&C 13.

1644. OFFICES

164The offices in the Aaronic Priesthood are as follows:

164The Deacon, who is to watch over the Church and to be a standing minister to the Church.

164The Teacher, who is "to watch over the Church always, and be with and strengthen them."

164The Priest, who is to "preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the Sacrament, and visit the house of each member."

164The Bishop, really the presiding Priest of the Aaronic order, presides over the Aaronic Priesthood.—GQ 14.

164Every Elder, Priest, Teacher, or Deacon is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto him; and he is to be ordained by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is in the one who ordains him.—D&C 20:60.

164 - 165Authority of Priests to Ordain: Priests have the authority to ordain other Priests, Teachers and Deacons, when called upon to do so by Bishops, Branch Presidents, Mission or District President; but neither Teachers nor Deacons have authority to lay on hands for spiritual gifts or ordain others. Remember, that while a person may have the authority to ordain others, it must only be done under the sanction and approval of the presiding officers.—SP 66.

165Progression in the Aaronic Priesthood. In the general practice of the Church, the office of Deacon is first conferred upon a man or boy when he has learned the duties of that office, and has proved himself faithful; he is later ordained a Teacher, and then a Priest. Thus, the order of the Church provides progressive experience and advancement for those holding the Priesthood. Moreover, since all males who are worthy may hold the Priesthood, the benefits of the system are available to all, and the responsibility for the welfare of the Church becomes a common concern.—SP 14.

165The First Presidency of the Church has authorized the following schedule of ages for ordination to and advancement in the Priesthood:

165Three years' experience and training for the Deacons—12, 13 and 14 years of age.

165Two years' experience and training for the Teachers—15 and 16 years of age.

165Two years' experience and training as Priests—17 and 18 years of age. Priests are eligible, if worthy, to be ordained Elders at 19 years of age.

165Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.—IE, 1937, 48.

165Certificates of Ordination. When a person has been ordained to any office in the Priesthood, he should receive a certificate of ordination, which should be carefully preserved and whenever necessary should be presented to the proper authority as an evidence of ordination. Upon the evidence of a certificate of ordination a person may be admitted to membership in the usual manner in the quorum having jurisdiction in the ward or stake where he resides.

167Graphic Outline of Aaronic Priesthood Supervision in Stakes and Wards

167(See also Chapters 25 and 26)

167provided he has been accepted as a member of the ward. If he does not possess a certificate of ordination and the membership certificate upon which he is received in the ward names his Priesthood, it should be accepted as evidence that he holds the office specified, unless there is evidence to the contrary.—HI 15-16.

1675. AARONIC PRIESTHOOD QUORUMS

167There should be strict compliance with the revealed word in the organization of quorums of the Priests, Teachers, and Deacons. According to the revelation of the Lord, a Priests' quorum consists of forty-eight members, a Teachers' quorum of twenty-four members, and a Deacons' quorum of twelve members. Wherever there is the required number, or a majority of the number, designated as the quorum limitation, a quorum organization should be effected. In case there are not sufficient members to form a majority and thereby form a quorum, a class organization should be effected and the same plan carried out as for the quorum. Wherever possible, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons should meet in separate quorums or classes.—HI 12.

167The Deacons' Quorum. Twelve Deacons form a quorum or council; one of the twelve is chosen president, and he is assisted by two counselors, also chosen from the twelve, and the three compose a presidency. One of the twelve Deacons is also chosen for secretary or clerk. "And again, verily I say unto you, the duty of a president over the office of a Deacon is to preside over twelve Deacons, to sit in council with them, and teach them their duty—edifying one another, as it is given according to the Covenants." (D&C 107:85; also verse 62; see also Section 124:142.)—CG 42.

167 - 168The Teachers' Quorum. Twenty-four Teachers form a quorum; one of the twenty-four is chosen president, and two are chosen counselors; there is also a clerk of the quorum. (D&C 107:86; also verse 62 and Section 124:142.) It is the duty of the president to preside over the quorum, "and sit in council with them, and to teach them their duty—edifying one another, as it is given according to the covenants." (D&C 107.)—CG48.

168The Priests' Quorum. Forty-eight Priests form a quorum. Unlike the organization of Teachers and Deacons, the president is not one of the forty-eight, but a Priest who holds the office of Bishop. 2 (See D&C 107:61.) Also the duty of the president over the Priesthood of Aaron is to preside over forty-eight Priests, and to sit in council with them, to teach them the duties of their office, as given in the covenants. This president is to be a Bishop, for this is one of the duties of this Priesthood. (D&C 107:87-88; 124:142.)—CG 58.

168Presiding Officers of the Aaronic Priesthood. The Bishop is the presiding officer of the Aaronic Priesthood. Unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron, he must be a High Priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood, ordained to the Bishopric. A Bishop, with two counselors, is appointed to preside over each ward of the Church; Bishops may be appointed over larger districts, and a Presiding Bishop, with two counselors ordained to be Bishops, is appointed to preside over the Aaronic Priesthood of the Church and to administer the temporal affairs of the Church, under the direction of the First Presidency. The office of Bishop is very important in the Church of Jesus Christ, since it deals with the daily temporal necessities of humanity, and also because the Bishop is appointed a common judge in Israel to hear difficulties that may arise among members, and to preserve peace in the Church. (D&C 107:72-75.)—SP 14.

168The Setting Apart of Quorum Officers. Presidents and counselors of Teachers' and Deacons' quorums are to be chosen and set apart by the ward Bishopric, preferably at a regular quorum meeting, following the sustaining vote of the ward and the quorum.—HI 96.

1686. THE DEACONS

168 - 169Deacons are primarily assistants to the Teachers, Priests and the men holding the Melchizedek Priesthood in their duties. It is their opportunity to learn of the duties and authority of the higher offices of the Priesthood, while so assisting. They have no particular authority to perform ordinances nor to carry responsibility directly; this comes later. In the performance of the duties in which they are authorized to assist, therefore, they should be very observant and willing. A quorum of Deacons consists of twelve members, of which three form the presidency. (D&C 20:57; 84:30, 111; 107:85.)—PC 140. 3

1697. TEACHERS

169The Teacher's duty is to watch over the Church always and be with and strengthen them;

169And see that there is no iniquity in the Church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking.

169And see that the Church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty.

169And he is to take the lead of meetings in the absence of the Elder or Priest—

169And is to be assisted always, in all his duties in the Church, by the Deacons, if occasion requires.

169But neither Teachers nor Deacons have authority to baptize, administer the Sacrament, or lay on hands;

169They are, however, to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.—D&C 20:53-59.

169Teachers are local officers, whose function it is to mingle with the Saints, exhorting them to their duties, and strengthening the Church by their constant ministry.—AF 206.

169The office of Teacher is one of the most important offices in the Priesthood, for Teachers are the immediate watchmen of the Church. In practice, Teachers visit the homes of the members of the Church once a month, to inquire into the conditions and needs of the people and to teach them the will of God.—SP 13.

170Teachers and Deacons may be called upon to pass the Sacrament to the people after it has been blessed by Priests, or those of higher authority in the Priesthood; act as ushers or doorkeepers; collect fast offerings; assist in the collection of ward funds; visit quorum members; care for meeting-house; act as messengers for the Bishop; speak in Sacrament meetings, and act as officers or teachers in the auxiliary organizations.—HI 16-17.

170The Responsibility of Teaching. The Teacher's office is of a wider range than the Deacon's; that is because it comprehends the duties of the latter besides those of itself.—CG 45.

170Importance of the Office Requires Cooperation of Higher Quorums. There are a number of men selected in every ward to be acting Teachers under the direction of the Bishopric. These usually hold the office of either Elder, Seventy or High Priest, and are called to act in the capacity of Teachers and Priests among the Saints. When thus acting their duties are similar to those mentioned above. They are appointed as aids to the Bishop, himself a High Priest, and he or one of his counselors presides at their meetings.—CG 50.

170 - 171Dignity of the Teachers' Calling. We have had called to our attention, recently, the fact that some men who are of long standing in the Church—indeed, some of them born and reared in the Church, and who are occupying prominent positions in some of the quorums of the Priesthood—when their presidents or their Bishops of the wards in which they live, call upon them to visit the Saints, teach the principles of the Gospel and perform the duties of Teachers, they coolly inform their Bishops that they have graduated from that calling and refuse to act as Teachers. Brother Charles W. Penrose is eighty-two years of age. I am going on seventy-six, and I believe that I am older than several of these good men who have graduated from the duties in the Lesser Priesthood, and I want to tell them and you that we are not too old to act as Teachers, if you will call us to do it—not one of us. There is never a time, there never will come a time to those who hold the Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when men can say of themselves that they have done enough.—GD 188.

1718. PRIESTS

171The Priest's duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the Sacrament.

171And visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties.

171And he may also ordain other Priests, Teachers, and Deacons.

171And he is to take the lead of meetings when there is no Elder present;

171But when there is an Elder present, he is only to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize.

171And visit the house of each member, exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties.

171In all these duties the Priest is to assist the Elder if occasion requires.—D&C 20:46-52.

171The office of Priest is the highest in the Aaronic Priesthood. It differs particularly from the offices of Teacher and Deacon in that it possesses authority to baptize, and to administer the Sacrament, and also to ordain other Priests, Teachers and Deacons.—SP 13.

171A Bishop to Be President of the Priests' Quorum. The president over the Priesthood of Aaron is to preside over forty-eight Priests, and sit in council with them, to teach them the duties of their office, as is given in the Covenants. This president is to be a Bishop; for this is one of the duties of this Priesthood.—D&C 107:87-88; see also D&C 84:29.

1719. BISHOP

171This is a true saying. If a man desire the office of a Bishop, he desireth a good work.—I Timothy 3:1.

171The Bishopric—Presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood. The Bishopric is the presidency of this Priesthood, and holds the keys or authority of the same.

172No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this Priesthood, except he be a literal descendant of Aaron.

172But as a High Priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices, he may officiate in the office of Bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, provided he is called and set apart and ordained unto this power by the hands of the Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood.—D&C 107:15-17.

172Classes of Bishops: With reference to powers and jurisdiction there are two classes of Bishops: (1) General Bishops, and (2) local Bishops.

172Among the general Bishops there are different grades; as (a) the Presiding Bishop over all the Bishops and Lesser Priesthood of the whole Church; (b) Bishops, whose jurisdiction is quite extensive or special, yet not over the whole Church, as the callings of Bishops Edward Partridge and Newel K. Whitney in the early days of the Church, and subsequently that of Bishop George Miller. (See D&C 41:9, 10; 72:8; 84:112, 113; 124:20, 21); and (c) Bishop's agents, as Sidney Gilbert. (D&C 53:1-4; 57:6, 8-10, 14, 15.)

172Of the local Bishops there is but one grade of the class—Bishops of wards or small jurisdictions.—CG 65.

172Training of Young Men for Ordination to the Aaronic Priesthood. The Bishop of each Ward is responsible for the preparation for the Aaronic Priesthood of all boys approaching twelve years of age. The auxiliary organizations, and especially the Primary Association, assist as "aids to the Priesthood" in this work. A regular effort is made to graduate twelve-year old boys from the Primary, with periods of checking and training beforehand, by the Bishopric or supervisor, as prerequisite to ordination as Deacons.

172 - 173Responsibility of Bishops to Young Men in the Lesser Priesthood. The Bishops should take especial charge of the Lesser Priesthood, and train them in the duties of their callings—the Priests, Teachers and Deacons. Our young men should be looked after. The boys, as soon as it is prudent, should be called to take part in the Lesser Priesthood.—GD 187.

173Co-ordination of Activities. Bishops, Stake Presidents and the Presiding Bishopric undertake to co-ordinate Church activities in the interests of the youth comprising the Aaronic Priesthood, especially in the wards. This involves the key to successful Priesthood administration. Without it, Priesthood may well tend to become the appendage to auxiliary activity, rather than vice versa. In the wards, the Bishop must act as co-ordinator-in-chief.

173The Bishops and Welfare. 4 One of the important duties of this office is the care of the poor and promotion of ward welfare. Under the direction of the Bishop, houses may be built or furnished for the poor, especially the widow and the orphan, who are without shelter; also the educating of the orphan and the children of the widow and the worthy poor.—CG 40.

173 - 38Selection of Bishops. The power and right of selecting and calling of the Presiding Bishop and the general Bishops is vested in the First Presidency, who also must try those appointed by them in case of transgression.—IP38.

Footnotes

1. See DC 84:31; 124:24.

2. See Chapter 10, Section 8, "High Priests as Bishops."

3. For duties and assignments of Deacons by the Presiding Bishopric see current quorum guides, or Improvement Era, March, 1937, p. 173. (Likewise for Teachers and Priests.)

4. See also Chapter 11, section 9.

5. See also the responsibility of Bishops in the Church Welfare Plan as outlined in Priesthood and Church Welfare.

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174Chapter 14

174THE CHURCH AND ITS PURPOSE

1741. THE CHURCH AUTHORIZED

174The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April.

174Which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, Jun., who was called of God, and ordained an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first Elder of this Church;

174And to Oliver Cowdery, who was also called of God, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the second Elder of this Church, and ordained under his hand;

174And this according to the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory, both now and forever. Amen.—D&C 20:1-4.

174Name Given. For thus shall my Church be called in the last days, even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.—D&C 115:4.

1742. WHAT IS THE CHURCH?

174The Church is the body of believers, organized by the Priesthood according to divine law. It is invested with the necessary rights, powers, and authority to carry forward on earth the purposes of the Almighty Father as contained in His plan of salvation for His children on earth. The Church, possessing these gifts, is under obligation to use its power to help humanity secure the happiness which is the end of existence. The Church must co-ordinate, through its philosophy and organization, every necessary activity for the consummation of the plan of salvation.—PC 24.

1753. THE KINGDOM OF GOD

175What I mean by the Kingdom of God is the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Jesus Christ is the king and the head; not as an organization in any wise menacing or jeopardizing the liberties or rights of the people throughout the world, but as an organization calculated to lift up and ameliorate the condition of mankind; to make bad men good, if it is possible for them to repent of their sins, and to make good men better.—GD 154.

175The keys of the Kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the Gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth. * * Call upon the Lord, that His kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down from heaven, clothed in the brightness of His glory, to meet the Kingdom of God which is set up on the earth. Wherefore, may the Kingdom of God go forth, that the Kingdom of Heaven may come, that Thou, O God, mayest be glorified in heaven so on earth, that thine enemies may be subdued; for Thine is the honor, power and glory, forever and ever.—D&C 65:5, 6.

1754. NEED OF THE CHURCH

175 - 176The Church, the community of persons with the same intelligent faith and desire and practice, is the organized agency through which God deals with His children and presents His will. Moreover, the authority to act for God must be vested on earth in some one organization and not independently in every man. The Church through the Priesthood holds this authority for the use of man. Besides, it is the common law of the universe, that when intelligent beings are organized, as of one body, they progress faster, individually and collectively. The Church as the product of Priesthood therefore represents God on earth and is the official means of communication between man and God.—RT 89.

176The Church Worth Having. The only Church worth having is one having authority derived from intelligence and truth. Such a Church will command obedience. In such a Church, little misunderstandings are easily rectified. Within the laws of the Church, man has absolute, personal freedom. It is so with nature, outside of the Church. Within the laws of nature, man has full freedom. The greatest freedom known to man comes from obedience to law. The greatest punishment conceivable to man comes from opposition to law. This is true with respect to the Church as a community of Saints, and with respect to individual man in the great universe.—RT 121.

1765. THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH

176And for this cause, that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed, the Lord sent forth the fulness of His Gospel, His everlasting covenant, reasoning in plainness and simplicity.

176To prepare the weak for those things which are coming on the earth, and for the Lord's errand in the day when the weak shall confound the wise, and the little one become a strong nation, and two shall put their tens of thousands to flight.

176And by the weak things of the earth the Lord shall thrash the nations by the power of His Spirit.—D&C 133:57-59.

176The plan of eternal progress involves every living soul who comes upon earth. To the Church is committed the huge task of keeping alive this plan and of carrying it to all the nations. The Church, then, is a great missionary organization.—RT 92.

176We have an object in view, and that is to gain influence among all the inhabitants of the earth for the purpose of establishing the Kingdom of God in its righteousness, power, and glory, and to exalt the name of the Deity, and cause that name by which we live to be revered everywhere.

177that He may be honored, that His works may be honored, that we may be honored ourselves, and deport ourselves worthy of the character of His children.—D 438.

177To Establish Peace. The Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to establish peace.—IE, 1937, 113.

1776. RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHURCH

177It becomes the responsibility of the Church to provide means and direction whereby humanity may be led into paths of happiness. Whatever pertains to human welfare must be the concern of the Church. The function of the Church is all inclusive, comprehensive; hence all issues of life must receive its careful consideration. Whatever concerns man is the concern of the Church, whether of earth or heaven, whether of this or a future life. That is, religion, as conserved by the Church, is the all-embracing science; the various occupations of man are parts of the whole, called religion. This conception of the duties of the Church leads to many responsibilities.—PC 24.

177Educational Responsibility of the Church. Provision must be made for teaching the members of the Church, and all who care to listen, the philosophy and practice of life (the Gospel) which will guide men to happiness. The Church should be, first of all, a great teaching institution. Its teaching must make use of every device within human reach for impressing the truths of existence upon the minds of men. Above all, the Church must anchor its teaching to truth which is understandable and demonstrable to the human mind.—PC 25.

177 - 178Everything in heaven and on earth, is organized for the benefit, advantage, and exaltation of intelligent beings; therefore, there is nothing that is out of the pale of our faith. There is nothing, I may say, good or bad, light or darkness, truth or error, but what is to be controlled by intelligent beings; and we should learn how to take into our possession every blessing and every privilege that God has put within our reach, and know how to use our time, our talents, and all our acts for the advancement of His Kingdom upon the earth.—D 53.

178Responsibility of the Church in Preserving Individual Freedom. In the midst of such wide participation in the affairs of modern life, the Church must ever teach man how to preserve his right of free agency, yet to develop and strengthen his will. That is perhaps the most difficult of the responsibilities placed upon the Church, but must ever be of foremost concern. When the will for righteousness, for obedience to law, for conformity to a higher will, has been developed, man rises most rapidly towards a fulness of happiness. The essential thought, however, must ever be that a man does not, except in his spiritual infancy, accept a statement merely because the Church or someone in authority declares it correct, but because, under mature examination, it is found to be true and right and worthwhile. Conversion must come from within. That is the Church's platform in relation to its members. That also means that the members of the Church gradually approach the happiness offered by religion. Wise men do not throw the Church overboard because they have not satisfied themselves concerning every principle of the Gospel. Under the law of progression, every principle may in time find lodgment in the inner consciousness of the seeker.—PC 26.

178The Church and Practical Problems. The nearer the Church comes to the practical issues of life, the more serviceable it will be in promoting human happiness. This does not mean that the Church should interfere in any of the affairs of its members, for the free agency of man must never be violated; but it does mean that the principles of the Gospel have clarifying and cementing power among the perplexities of life. Educational, social, and economic problems have their spiritual equivalents. This is tersely said in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, "All things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal—for my commandments are spiritual." (D&C 29:34-35.)—PC 25.

178Responsibility to Preach the Gospel. The voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.—D&C 1:4.

179Therefore, go ye into all the world; and whatsoever place ye cannot go unto ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world unto every creature.—D&C 84:62.

179O, ye Elders of Israel, who have received the Holy Priesthood, we have this work laid upon our shoulders, we have to take hold and build up this Kingdom or be damned. This is our condition; we cannot get away from it; the ancient Apostles could not, we cannot. It is the greatest dispensation God ever gave to the human family in any age of the world, and we are commanded to carry it forward. We cannot afford to treat lightly this work. We cannot undertake to serve God and mammon. We cannot undertake to serve the world and fulfil our missions as Apostles and Elders of the Lord Jesus Christ.—JD 22:206. Wilford Woodruff.

1797. THE SPIRIT OF CHURCH ORGANIZATION

179Organization in general may be said to mean the methodical arrangement of the several parts of a structure into a harmonious whole, in order to give it system and means for use and action. Organization as applied to the Church is the orderly arrangement of its members and officers into a harmonious living body, for use and action.—PM 9.

179We are governed by law, because we love one another, and are actuated by long-suffering and charity, and goodwill; and our whole organization is based upon the idea of self-control; the principle of give and take, and of rather being willing to suffer wrong than to do wrong. Our message is peace on earth and good will towards men; love, charity and forgiveness, which should actuate all associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ours is a Church where law is dominant, but the law is the law of love. There are rules which should be observed, and will be observed if we have the spirit of the work in our hearts; and if we have not the spirit with us, we have only the form of godliness which is without strength.—GD 143.

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179Chapter 15

180ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH

1801. SCRIPTURAL INJUNCTIONS 1

180The above offices I have given unto you, and the keys thereof, for helps and for governments, for the work of the ministry, and the perfecting of my Saints.—D&C 124:143.

1802. NEED OF ORGANIZATION

180The purpose of the Church is accomplished through the practices of the Church, and these in turn are made possible by means of a competent organization. Purpose, plan and organization are interdependent; but the organization determines the degree to which the practices may operate for the accomplishment of the purpose.—PC 123.

1803. SUFFICIENCY OF THE ORGANIZATION

180The Church is provided with so many Priesthood organizations that no outside organization is necessary. There is no call for individuals to organize clubs, or special gatherings in social, educational, or national capacity, in order to express wishes or desires for reforms that can always be expressed in the organizations that already exist in the Church. There is enough to do in the general ward organizations, under Church control, to fill requirements, to satisfy all righteous ambitions, and to develop the latent talent of the people. It is neither proper nor necessary to establish further public organizations under individual leadership, unsanctioned by the Church authorities. If further public organizations are required, they will be founded by proper authority, when it can be proved that there is indeed any need for them. Such separate action leads to clannishness, conflict and disunion, and is not pleasing in the sight of God.—GD 353.

182Members of the Church are strongly advised not to become identified as members with any organization established for the benefit of any group which is antagonistic to the Church; is oath-bound, or is of such character as would cause members of the Church to lose interest in Church activities or interfere with the performance of their duties. This does not apply to any association that is free from the conditions above mentioned and that is organized for the commercial or general welfare of its members.—HI 97.

1834. THE PRIESTHOOD ORGANIZATION DESCRIBED

183I do not know of any more perfect organization than exists in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today.—GD 173.

183When Joseph Smith was living, he was the President of the Church, and had two Counselors of his own selection, but sanctioned also by the Church, which always has a voice in all such matters. After Joseph Smith's death, Brigham Young was appointed President, by virtue of his being President of the Twelve Apostles, who stand next in authority to the Presidency. He has two Counselors, chosen from the Twelve. 2 These are presented before the people and sanctioned by them. The First Presidency has authority over all matters pertaining to the Church.

183The next in order are the Twelve Apostles, whose calling is to preach the Gospel, or to see that it is preached, to all the world. They hold the same authority in all parts of the world that the First Presidency do at home, and act under their direction. They are called by revelation and sanctioned by the people. The Twelve have a President. This Presidency is obtained by seniority of ordination.

183There are then the Seventies. It is their office also to preach the Gospel to all the world. There is a presidency over each quorum. And again there are Seven Presidents with their President, who preside over the Presidents of the quorums of Seventy.

183 - 184There are then the Elders, of whom there are many. It is their business to preach the Gospel in different parts of the earth where they are located, according to the circumstances; but they are not bound, as the Seventies are, to go to different parts of the earth, only as their circumstances stances will admit. But they have power to preach, to baptize, to lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and to attend to other ordinances of the Church.

184There are then the Priests, whose duty it is to preach and baptize, but not to lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

184There are also Teachers, whose business it is to visit the members in the different branches of the Church where they live, and to see that they attend to their family duties, prayers, etc.; to watch over the spiritual interests of those under their care; and to see that there is no hard feeling, contention, evil speaking, or wickedness.

184There are, then, Deacons, whose business it is to assist the Teachers and attend to the temporal affairs of the branches where they may happen to be situated.

184There is then a Quorum of High Priests, of whom there are many. It is their business generally to preside over churches, and assist on councils as they may be directed, whether at home or abroad. But a Seventy, or an Elder, can do this in their absence, or when others have not been appointed.

184There are also Evangelists, or Patriarchs.

184The above is an outline of the organization for the purpose of preaching the Gospel to all the world, and carrying out the order of God as revealed unto His Church.—MS 13:337-338, John Taylor.

1845. TERRITORIAL DIVISIONS

184The Church functions through territorial divisions as provided for in the revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith. This is increasingly necessary as the Church has increased in membership and as the members have scattered over the earth. Compact organization, finding access to every member, is a prime thought in the Gospel structure.—PC 150.

184 - 185The Stakes. The Church, outside of the mission field, is territorially divided into "Stakes of Zion." The word stake as here used is a figure of speech, referring to the stakes driven into the ground to support the tent and its hangings. (Isaiah 54:2, 3.) They shall be called stakes, for the curtains or the strength of Zion.—D&C 101:21.

185Whenever a sufficient number of Latter-day Saints have gathered in one locality, a stake is usually organized. The stakes vary in membership from 1000 to 10,000, though there is no set number. A membership of about 4000 to 5000 is ordinarily the most effective in caring for the members.

185Each stake has its own set of officers, its own organizations and activities all being practically alike throughout the Church.—PC 150.

185The Ward. Each stake in turn is divided into wards, with memberships varying, usually, from 400 to 1500. The ideal is a ward small enough for easy and effective service by the officers to the members of the ward, perhaps in the neighborhood of 600 souls. The ward is the ultimate unit of the Church. Every Church activity is found within and centers upon the ward.—PC 131.

185The Ward Branch. A group of members too small to officer and to carry on all the activities of a ward. may be partially officered and become a branch, commonly dependent upon the nearest ward, by which it is then supervised in part; though independent branches directly responsible to the Stake Presidency are occasionally formed.—PC 151.

185The Mission. The missions, with a relatively small and widely scattered membership, correspond roughly to stakes. For convenience they are divided into districts, which in turn are divided into mission branches, the ultimate units of the missions, corresponding to wards. The districts are temporary devices for mission administration. When the membership increases, the mission or part of it may become a stake, and the branches or some of them become wards.—PC 151.

1866. AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS OR "AIDS TO THE PRIESTHOOD"

186The auxiliary organizations are helps in government to the Priesthood in the training and development of the members in different lines, with the teaching of the Gospel as an essential. They labor always under the direction of the Priesthood. They are: the Relief Society, the Sunday School, the Young Men's and Young Women's Mutual Improvement Associations, and the Primary Association. 3 Under this head may also be considered the Church Department of Education, consisting of a university, colleges, institutes, student religious societies, and seminaries. The Genealogical Society forms a part of the Priesthood activity connected with temple work. 4 Each of the auxiliary associations has a general presidency or superintendency of three at the head, under the direction of the First Presidency, with a general board of members who are appointed to visit the various stakes or missions. In like manner the stake auxiliary associations are organized with a stake board. The ward or board organization also consists of the presidency of three, with the other necessary officers and teachers associated. Mission auxiliary boards may be organized wherever required.—SP 41.

1867. ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITIES

186General. There are three kinds or classes of authorities and officers of the Church: (1) General, with Churchwide supervisory powers; (2) Stake or Mission, with jurisdiction limited to stake or mission affairs; and (3) Ward or Branch, operating within ward or branch confines.—PC 155.

186 - 187The First Presidency: consisting of three Presiding High Priests, a president and two counselors, preside over all affairs and activities of the Church. They are assisted by Twelve Apostles, who in turn are assisted by the First Council of the Seventy. Also laboring under the direction of the First Presidency are the Patriarch to the Church, the Presiding Bishopric and the other general officers.—SP 40.

187Stake Administrative Authorities. Stakes of Zion are presided over by a council of three High Priests, a president and two counselors, who are chosen and set apart for this work under the direction of the Presidency of the Church and sustained by the members of the stake. The Stake Presidency control the affairs of their stake, and both Priesthood and auxiliary organizations, all of them, are under their presidency. The program to be followed by the ward organizations comes from the general boards through the stake boards, but the responsibility for carrying them out rests with the Bishopric as the presiding officers of the ward, though the stake organizations may give assistance. All matters pertaining to the ward should be done with the knowledge of the Bishopric.—PC 162.

187The Bishops of the wards, also, are accountable to the Stake Presidency, who thus directly govern their stake in a general way; and indirectly, all organizations of the stake.—PM 16.

187Ward Administrative Authorities. The responsible officers of a ward are the Bishopric, consisting of three High Priests, the Bishop and his two counselors.

187All ward workers, Priesthood and auxiliary and Ward Teachers, report to the ward Bishopric.

187Mission. A mission is presided over by a Mission President with counselors. He is responsible directly to the First Presidency or their duly appointed representatives. The Mission President is assisted by the regularly appointed missionaries, who, in the discharge of their callings, represent the Mission President and act for him.—SP 40.

187 - 188A mission branch is presided over by a branch president with two counselors, corresponding to the ward organization in the stakes. The branch presidency direct branch affairs, as the Ward Bishopric direct ward affairs.—SP 14.

1888. EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS

188The most important duties of the Priesthood are of an executive character. It devolves equally upon the Priesthood to participate in the making of rules, regulations and laws, and to sit as judges to interpret such rules, regulations and laws, whether for the Church generally, or for individual members. 5 The President of the Church is the chief executive; the President and his two counselors form the head executive council or quorum in the Church.—CQ 99.

188There never can be and never will be, under God's direction, two equal heads at the same time. That would not be consistent; it would be irrational and unreasonable; contrary to God's will. There is one head, and He is God, the head of all. Next to Him stands the man He puts in nomination to stand at the head on the earth, with his associates; and all the other organizations and heads, from him to the last, are subordinate to the first, otherwise there would be discord, disunion and disorganization.—GD 145.

1889. LEGISLATIVE FUNCTIONS

188 - 189Usually the authorities of a particular jurisdiction or quorum take the initiative by first framing, and passing upon a measure, then submitting it to the proper body of the Church for acceptance or rejection. In thus performing the legislative function the people act in a purely democratic manner.—CG 98.

189The Rule of Unanimity. In trying all matters of doctrine, to make a decision valid, it is necessary to obtain a unanimous voice, faith and decision. In the capacity of a quorum, the three First Presidents must be one in their voice; the Twelve Apostles must be unanimous in their voice, to obtain a righteous decision upon any matter that may come before them, as you may read in the Doctrine and Covenants. Whenever you see these quorums unanimous in their declaration, you may set it down as true.—D 133.

18910. JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS

189The Judiciary of the Church comprises a system of courts vested in certain councils and special quorums. 6CG 100.

189 - 190The Law of Jurisdiction of Officers. The Bishoprics and the Presidents of Stakes have exclusive jurisdiction over the membership or the standing of men and women in their wards and in their stakes. I want to state that pretty plain—that is to say, it is not my duty, it is not the duty of the Seven Presidents of Seventies, nor of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, to go into a stake of Zion and try for membership, or for standing in the Church, any member of a stake or ward. We have no business to do it; it belongs to the local authorities, and they have ample authority to deal with the membership in their wards and in their stakes. The Bishops may try an Elder for misconduct, for un-Christian-like conduct, for apostasy, or for wickedness of any kind that would disqualify him for membership in the Church, and they may pass upon him their judgment that he is unworthy of fellowship in the Church, and they may withdraw from him their fellowship. Then they may refer his case to the presidency and high council, and it will be the duty of the Presidency and High Council of the stake to deal with him, even to the extent of excommunication from the Church; and there is no remedy for this, only the right of appeal to the Presidency of the Church. If there may be, perchance, any injustice and partiality, lack of information or understanding on the part of the Bishopric, which may not be corrected and therefore might be perpetuated by the decision of the High Council, and the party aggrieved does not feel that he has had justice dealt out to him, he then has a right, under the laws of the Church, to appeal to the Presidency of the Church, but not otherwise.—GD 132.

190Jurisdiction of Church Courts. The jurisdiction of Church courts extends solely to cases of infractions of the moral law, wherein members are considered guilty of un-Christian-like conduct; and to the other violations of the laws, rules, and discipline of the Church.—CG 165.

190Punishments Inflicted by Church Courts. The Church applies only two kinds of punishment. The first and lightest is that of being disfellowshiped, which means that the hand of fellowship is withdrawn from the accused, who can not then officiate int the activities of the Church, though he may be present and partake of the spirit of all Church gatherings. In the course of time, if his conduct justifies it, he is again admitted into full fellowship by the tribunal that found him guilty. Rebaptism is not necessary.

190The second punishment is that of excommunication. This means loss of membership in the Church. An excommunicated member can re-enter the Church only after showing full faith, and sincere repentance, by being baptized.—PC 174.

190 - 191Control of Administrative Authority Through the Judicial Process. Authority may be unrighteously exercised from the lack of intelligence or because of wickedness. Should a member of the Church note this, the procedure of correction is to notify the ward Teachers, who will try to settle the difficulty. If the ward Teachers do not succeed in this, the Bishop's court takes up the matter and, if needs be, passes it to the Stake Presidency and High Council, whence it may be appealed to the First Presidency. Justice is meted out to all in the Church. If the people are dissatisfied with any officer they may refuse to sustain him at the time of the voting, which prevents him from exercising the functions of his office. In such voting the majority rule; though in the Church courts of justice there must be unanimity.—RT 116.

191Rehearings and Reinstatements. Excommunicated men who have held the Priesthood may be reinstated after proper repentance upon the recommendation of the tribunal that excommunicated them. This body can only authorize baptism and confirmation. Priesthood and Temple blessings may be restored only upon authority from the President of the Church.

19111. CONFERENCES AND COUNCIL MEETINGS

191The Church conducts regularly a series of conferences in which much of the business of the Church is done and the members refreshed and renewed in their faith.

191There are three kinds of Church conferences: of Church-wide, stake-wide and ward-wide nature. 7

191The general conferences of the Church, ordinarily of three days' duration are held semi-annually, to include, if possible, October 6 and April 6, and usually in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. The various auxiliaries also hold Church-wide conferences: the Relief Society and the Sunday Schools semi-annually, at or near the time of the general Church conferences; and the Mutual Improvement and the Primary Associations annually, in early June, Special Church-wide conferences may be called at any time.—PC 160.

191 - 192Order in Councils. At a council of the High Priests and Elders (Orson Hyde, clerk), at my house in Kirtland, on the evening of the 12th of February (1834), I remarked that I should endeavor to set before the council the dignity of the office which had been conferred on me by the ministering of the angel of God, by His own voice, and by the voice of this Church; that I had never set before any council in all the order in which it ought to be conducted, which, perhaps, has deprived the councils of some or many blessings.

192And I continued and said, no man is capable of judging a matter, in council, unless his own heart is pure; and that we frequently are so filled with prejudice, or have a beam in our own eye, that we are not capable of passing right decisions.

192But to return to the subject of order; in ancient days councils were conducted with such strict propriety, that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or the voice of the council by the Spirit, was obtained, which has not been observed in this Church to the present time. It was understood in ancient days, that if one man could stay in council, another could; and if the President could spend his time, the members could also; but in our councils, generally, one will be uneasy, another asleep; one praying, another not, one's mind on the business of the council, and another thinking on something else.—T 69; see also D&C 88:127-137.

192All officers and members of Priesthood quorums are expected to attend stake quarterly conferences. A record should be kept by the quorum of the attendance of each member.—PM 65.

192The auxiliary organizations of the stakes likewise hold regular usually annual conventions.

192Ward conferences are held annually at which ward business is brought before the membership. In some cases the auxiliaries of the ward may also hold annual or more frequent auxiliary conferences. Ward Mutual Improvement Associations hold joint services on the evening of the first Sunday of the month.

Footnotes

1. See Romans 12:4-5; I Cor. 12:27-31; Eph. 4:4-16; 2:19-20; 1:22; Matt. 16:15-18; D&C 41:2-3.

2. For the respective programs and assignments of these auxiliary "aids" see the current handbook and guides printed and circulated by each one.

3. See Chapter 28, "Priesthood and Temple Work."

4. It is interesting to note that all political institutions have a tendency to evolve towards the administrative model presented by the Priesthood, i.e., combining "executive," legislative," and "judicial" functions in a single administrative authority. However, the fundamental restraints which regulate such effective authority in the case of Priesthood are often absent in earthly institutions of purely political nature. Thus it is that the law and practice of the jurisdiction of officers in "The Mormon Church," together with the method of their selection, affords a unique example for the development of public administration.

See further, Chapter 18, "Judicial Provisions."

5. See Chapter 17, "Judicial Provisions."

6. Conferences are held on a similar basis in the Missions

7. At the time this discourse was given.

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193Chapter 16

193SOME PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT

1931. SOME FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES

193Importance of Knowledge in the Governing Process. Teach the people true knowledge, and they will govern themselves.—D 146.

193Freedom of the Individual to Obey or Reject Gospel Laws. The Gospel covenants are for those who believe and obey; municipal laws are for both saint and sinner.—D 354.

193Observance of the Principles of Religion. In the sincere observances of the principles of true religion and virtue, we recognize the base, the only sure foundation of enlightened society and well-established government.—D 355.

193The Church Gives Freedom. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the freest institution in the world.—GD 69.

1932. IMPORTANCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL

193The conception of the Church and its responsibilities places a high valuation upon the individual. If religion must enter every concern of every person, the value of the individual must be very great. Indeed, such high valuation is a necessary conclusion from the story of life. For each member of the human race the plan of salvation was formulated and put into operation. Within every human breast lie germs of progress which, throughout eternal existence, may transform a mortal man into an immortal being of God-like powers. In the light of this conception, the individual rises to huge, universal proportions.—PC 27.

193 - 194The Church, therefore, is more concerned with individuals than groups. It is well to know the average condition of the group as a whole, but it is more important to know the condition of those of the group who are lowest in happiness. The poorest, weakest, and the most needy must ever be the direct concern of the Church. If these can be raised, the average will automatically rise. It was this principle, set forth by Jesus the Christ in the parable of the lost sheep, by which the Master left the ninety-nine secure in the fold, to find and return the one that was missing.—PC 27.

1943. THE CONCEPT OF THEOCRACY IN CHURCH GOVERNMENT

194What do I understand by a theocratic government? One in which all laws are enacted and executed in righteousness, and whose officers possess that power which proceedeth from the Almighty. That is the kind of government I allude to when I speak of a theocratic government, or the Kingdom of God upon the earth.—D 354.

1944. PRIESTHOOD OFFICES VERSUS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES

194A sharp division should be drawn between offices in the Priesthood and administrative offices in the Church. A man, to hold administrative Church positions, must hold the Priesthood, but not every Priesthood holder holds such administrative responsibility within the organized Church. A man may always exercise the power of the Priesthood for himself and his family, but in Church affairs only when so authorized by the proper presiding authority.—PC 153.

194 - 195Service For All Afforded in Administrative Capacity. We want it understood that we have fewer lay members in this Church, in proportion to the number of our membership, than you will find in any other church upon the globe. Nearly every man in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds the Melchizedek or the Aaronic Priesthood, and may act in an official capacity by authority of that Priesthood whenever called upon to do so. They are Priests and kings, if you please, unto God in righteousness. Out of this vast body of Priests we call and ordain or set apart our Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors, our High Councilors, our Bishops and their Counselors, our Seventies, our High Priests, and our Elders, upon whom rests the responsibility of proclaiming the Gospel of eternal truth to all the world, and upon whom also rests the great and glorious responsibility of maintaining the dignity, the honor and the sacredness of that calling and Priesthood. So that nearly every male person in the Church, who has reached the years of accountability, is supposed to be, in his sphere, a pillar in Zion, a defender of the faith, an exemplar, a man of righteousness, truth and soberness, a man of virtue and of honor, a good citizen of the state in which he lives, and a staunch and loyal citizen of the great country that we are proud to call our home.—GD 158.

195Order of Authority. No man possessing a correct understanding of the spirit of the Gospel and of the authority and law of the Holy Priesthood will attempt for a moment to run before his file leader or to do anything that is not strictly in harmony with his wish and the authority that belongs to him. The moment a man in a subordinate position begins to usurp the authority of his leader, that moment he is out of his place, and proves by his conduct that he does not comprehend his duty, that he is not acting in the line of his calling, and is a dangerous character. He will set bad examples, he will mislead, he will lead others into error, having fallen into error himself; indeed he is in error the moment he acts contrary to and independent of the direction of his presiding officer; and if he continues in that course he will go astray entirely, and those who follow him will follow him astray.—GD185.

1955. THE KEYS OF THE PRIESTHOOD

195The Priesthood in general is the authority given to man to act for God. Every man ordained to any degree of the Priesthood, has this authority delegated to him.

195 - 196But it is necessary that every act performed under this authority shall be done at the proper time and place, in the proper way, and after the proper order. The power of directing these labors constitutes the keys of the Priesthood. In their fulness, the keys are held by only one person at a time, the Prophet and President of the Church. He may delegate any portion of this power to another, in which case that person holds the keys of that particular labor. Thus, the President of a temple, the President of a stake, the Bishop of a ward, the President of a mission, the President of a quorum, each holds the keys of the labors performed in that particular body or locality. His Priesthood is not increased by this special appointment, for a Seventy who presides over a mission has no more Priesthood than a Seventy who labors under his direction; and the President of an Elders' quorum, for example, has no more Priesthood than any member of that quorum. But he holds the power of directing the official labors performed in the mission or the quorum, or in other words, the keys of that division of that work. So it is throughout all the ramifications of the Priesthood—a distinction must be carefully made between the general authority, and the directing of the labors performed by that authority.—GD 136.

1966. RIGHT OF FREE AGENCY NOT TO BE TRANSCENDED

196The law of free agency must not be transcended; nor is it permissible to do anything that will hinder, in the least, the progress of man. Therefore authority should be exercised only on a manner to benefit other individuals. Naturally, when a community accepts a body of laws, and officers are appointed by the people to enforce the laws, the punishment of the disobedient is not an interference with free agency, for all have accepted the laws. Only when a person withdraws from the community does the community law become inoperative with respect to him. Laws should be enforced.—RT 113.

196 - 197Respect for the Priesthood. There should be respect for the Priesthood of God, and when I speak of respecting the Priesthood, I do not mean merely the President of the Church nor the Apostles of the Church, nor the General Authorities of the Church. I mean them of course; but I also mean all those who hold the Priesthood. I bespeak respect for the Presidents of stakes; for Bishops of wards; and also for the priests, who teach the Gospel at the firesides of the people. I bespeak respect for the humblest of God's servants, as well as for the highest; for it is all one authority; it all comes from God.—CR., 1901, 59, B.H. Roberts.

1977. RESPONSIBILITY OF OFFICERS

197Obligation to Study and Teach. And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my Church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given.

197And thus ye shall become instructed in the law of my Church, and be sanctified by that which ye have received, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me—

197That inasmuch as ye do this, glory shall be added to the kingdom which ye have received. Inasmuch as ye do it not, it shall be taken, even that which ye have received.—D&C 43:8-10.

197Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my Scriptures for a law, to be my law to govern my Church;

197And he that doeth according to these things shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned, if he so continue.—D&C 42:59-60.

197Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.—D&C 88:122.

197Obligation to Plan and Forecast Under Inspiration. When men are placed at the head of government who are actually controlled by the power of God—by the Holy Ghost—they can lay plans, they can frame constitutions, they can form governments and laws that have not the seeds of death within them, and no other men can do it.—D 356.

197 - 198And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.—Mosiah 4:27.

198Obligation to Cultivate and Serve Surrounding Membership. Those of you who have got the Priesthood, go and make friends among the individuals by whom you are surrounded; or select one and try to start his feelings, his faith, his circumstances, and his mind, and try to enlighten them; and if they are sinners, endeavor to save them from their sins, and bring them from their bondage in which they are placed, to participate in the light and liberty which you participate in, for in this way you can do good through the information which the Lord has imparted to you. In this way you will discover that their minds will be drawn out towards you, and their affections will be gained and centered upon you.—JD 4:241, Lorenzo Snow.

198"Government By Consent": Freedom of Expression. We deny the existence of arbitrary power in the Church; and this because its government is moral government purely, and its forces are applied through kindness and persuasion. Government by consent of the governed is the rule of the Church.—RQA 107.

198There has been no instance in this Church of a person's being in the least curtailed in the privilege of speaking his honest sentiments. It cannot be shown in the history of this people that a man has ever been injured, either in person, property, or character, for openly expressing, in the proper time and place, his objections to any man holding authority in this Church, or for assigning his reasons for such objections.—D 148.

198I have had some people ask me how I manage and control the people. I do it by telling them the truth and letting them do just as they have a mind to.—D 355.

1988. THE NECESSITY OF INDUSTRY

198Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.—D&C 42:42.

198 - 199A great many think that the Kingdom of God is going to bless them and exalt them, without any efforts on their part. This is not so. Every man and woman is expected to aid the work with all the ability God has given them.—D 444.

1999. THE OPPORTUNITY OF OFFICE HOLDING

199Officers in the Church of Jesus Christ are called for two distinct purposes: First and foremost, to serve the people; and, secondly, to gain the development and enlarged understanding which always follow earnest service in a responsible position. It is an honorable privilege and a personal benefit to be allowed to serve in an official position in the Church; and an office, whatever it may be, should be accepted in a spirit of grateful appreciation.—BS 7.

199No person is required to accept an office in the Church. He is called to service, but accepts or refuses as he sees fit. Many of the blessings obtained from office holding result from the voluntary nature of the service. The refusal of a call leaves behind a lasting regret.

19910. ALL MUST BE ACTIVE

199The ideal of the Church is to keep all members engaged in some form of Church service. This is really necessary, since, in the absence of a Priesthood class, the members are required to perform all the tasks of the Church. Such service is unpaid, therefore, care must be used to ask each member to give only a small part of his time for direct Church labor. The duties of Church service are consequently distributed among a very large number of persons, some of whom are less fitted than others for the work. However, active, faithful response to the calls that may come soon develops the backward workers and enables them to carry off their responsibilities to the full satisfaction of all concerned. Nevertheless, it becomes necessary for the leaders of the Church to use caution in selecting for the numerous positions those who by natural endowment are best fitted for the service required.—PC 106.

20011. THE PRINCIPLE OF SACRIFICE AND SERVICE

200Since all participate in the labors of the Church, the practice of an unpaid ministry follows. The principle of self-government carries with it the requirement of sacrifice. All members should be ready to devote a portion of their time, strength, natural endowment and acquired training to labors within the Church. The Church benefits those who participate in its practices; and whoever is helped must give to the Church in return. This principle is evident in all activities of the Church.—PC 32.

200Why is a man called to act as President over a people?... He is called to act in such a position on the same principle as the Priesthood was given to the Son of God, that he should make sacrifice. For himself? No, but in the interests of the people over whom he presides.... At the present time it is too often the case that the men who are called to act in such positions, instead of thus acting according to their holy calling, use their influence, their Priesthood, the sacred powers conferred upon them, for their own benefit and that of their children and personal friends. This is highly improper, it is wrong and displeasing in the sight of God; and of this sin we are called upon to repent, by putting it away from us, and beginning to live the lives of Latter-day Saints, according to the sacred covenants we have entered into.—JD 18:374, Lorenzo Snow.

20012. THE FAMILY IN CHURCH GOVERNMENT

200(See Chapter 7)

20013. ROTATION IN OFFICE

200Offices in the Priesthood, such as Elder, Seventy, High Priest are permanent possessions in the Priesthood. Offices of appointment, such as President of a stake, President of a High Priests' Quorum, President of a Mission, Superintendent of a Mutual Improvement Organiza-

201tion, are temporary appointments and are assigned as missions which may terminate at any time without impairing or taking away from such officers their Priesthood. Rotation in such offices at times is beneficial and gives to others the opportunity of development.

201Appointments to offices in the Church are temporary; there is no fixed length of service. The duration of service depends upon the needs of the Church, and the whisperings of the Spirit to those in a higher position of responsibility. A person who is released from office should harbor no ill feelings, but, rather, should feel grateful that he has enjoyed the privileges of official service; and the experience he has had should impel him to give better support to his successor in office.—BS 8.

201Historically, the general officers of the Church have, with few exceptions, continued in office for life or during good behavior. These twenty-six men are the only ones whose appointments in the past have not been of an indefinite term.—PC 154.

20114. FITNESS OF OFFICERS

201The First Consideration. The first consideration, when choosing officers, is fitness for the office, the ability to do the required work. Fitness is determined chiefly by the desire and effort to obey the laws of the Gospel. Those who will not try to live the Gospel are not fitted for official leadership no matter how bright and capable they may be. A person need not be perfect to hold office; none is without fault; but the Lord who looks upon us in mercy, requires of all, and especially of leaders, a broken heart and a contrite spirit, a recognition of His law and a resolution to comply with it. Other conditions of fitness are subordinate to spiritual willingness. Yet, naturally, a person's training and temperament for the work required and other factors of preparation are also considered in making official appointments.—BS 8.

201 - 202Relation of Power to Responsibility. Those who are the greatest in authority, are under the greatest restrictions; the law of their sphere is greater than that of those who are less in power, and the restrictions and penalty of that law are proportionately greater; therefore they are under the greater obligation to maintain the virtue of the law and the institutions of God, otherwise confidence could not be reposed in them, but distrust and evil surmisings would be the result; disaffection would be found lurking in every avenue of society, and by thus severing the cords of union, it would prove the destruction of any people.—MS 14:596.

20215. GENERAL DUTIES OF OFFICERS

202Those who accept official positions and the responsibility of leadership must be examples in their earnest attempt to live the Gospel and to perform their duties promptly and properly. Officers should inform themselves carefully concerning the duties of their office.

202Efficient officers will plan their work ahead, so that, when meetings assemble, every detail is so provided for that the programs may be carried out to the satisfaction of all concerned. Preparedness and punctuality are two of the most important qualities of a leader.—BS 9.

202 - 203Who Presides at Meetings? The Priesthood bearer presides over his family, and may always exercise the inherent power of the Priesthood in behalf of himself and his family. Within the organizations of the Church, Priesthood or auxiliary, he may exercise the authority of the Priesthood only as called into service and directed by those holding official positions in the Church. For example, the special function of the office of a High Priest is to preside. Yet a High Priest may be a member of a ward Mutual Improvement Association presided over by an Elder called by the Bishop to be the ward superintendent. Merely because of his office, the High Priest would have no right to undertake the direction of the M. I. A. or any other meeting. Or, an Elder, Seventy, or High Priest may attend without any right of presidency a meeting of a Ward Relief Society, presided over and conducted by a woman duly called to the position by constituted ward Priesthood authorities. Every officer of any Church organization. Priesthood or auxiliary, possesses authority delegated to the man or woman, by one holding the proper official Priesthood authority, in the ward, stake or Church.

203Within the official body of the Church the case is somewhat different. The person in a meeting holding the highest official authority does not preside, except when he is acting in his official capacity by appointment. Thus the Stake President conducts a stake quarterly conference under the direction of the member of the First Presidency or their representative who may be present. In a regularly called ward meeting attended by a member of the Stake Presidency or an appointed representative, while the Bishop is not relieved of his right and duty to preside, he presides or conducts the meeting under the direction of his superior officer who is present. Should the Stake Presidency enter a Relief Society, a Y.W.M.I.A., or Primary meeting, stake or ward, the duly appointed sister would preside or conduct the meeting, but with due regard to the wishes of the higher official authorities present. However, should a man who holds the Priesthood but has no official stake or ward position, visit a meeting, the presiding officer need not consult him.

203The line of authority in such cases is very clear. The Presidency of the Church have the right of authority in all meetings in the Church, Priesthood or auxiliary; the Stake Presidency have a similar right in all stake meetings, and the Bishopric in ward meetings. The same rule applies to the auxiliary organizations. For example, Sunday School authorities, General, Stake and Ward, preside at all Sunday School meetings, but always under the direction of the official Priesthood. First Presidency, Stake Presidency, or Bishopric as the case may be. So with all other auxiliaries or helps to the Priesthood.

203Minutes of meetings should state the name of the person who actually presided, that is, conducted or took charge, and it would be sufficient to mention in addition the presence, if any, of the higher official authority. Any further refinement of statement would imply lack of acquaintance with the order of authority in the Church.

203 - 204In the two divisions of the M.I.A., good sense and common courtesy would direct that the young men and the young women would in turn conduct joint meetings, and their several minutes should faithfully report the facts in the case. Similarly, in all organizations it is a wise practice to have the president and his counselors take charge of meetings in rotation. Counselors should be used. The presence of the Stake President, reported in the minutes, would indicate that, if a counselor conducted the meeting, it was under proper appointment.

204The order here presented would hold in the missions for branches and districts as well as in the wards and stakes of Zion. Wise leaders will not undertake to interfere with the regular performance of duty by those men or women, whom they have called into service.

20416. TRAINING FOR LEADERSHIP

204The Church is without a special Priesthood class, and is governed and taught by all members, usually in rotation. It becomes necessary, therefore, to include in the activities of the Church, training for leadership. Since all men may hold the Priesthood, and all women may participate in the direction of the auxiliary activities of the Church, the general practice of the Church must provide training in leadership. Every member may be called to a position of leadership, and every member should be trained for such a call. This objective may be discerned in the established practice of the Church.—PC 32.

204Let those called Latter-day Saints so learn wisdom as to carry out the true principles of government, that they may be able to govern and control all things wisely.—D358.

204So dissimilar are the governments of men, and so diverse are their laws, from the government and laws of heaven, that a man, for instance, hearing that there was a country on this globe called the United States of North America, could take his journey to this place without first learning the laws of governments; but the conditions of God's kingdom are such, that all who are made partakers of that glory, are under the necessity of learning something respecting it previous to their entering into it.—T 51.

205Trust in Church Leaders. In conclusion we would say that the Latter-day Saints by this time should be well settled in the conviction that God has established His Church in the earth for the last time, to remain, and no more to be thrown down or destroyed; and that God's house is a house of order.

205The presiding quorums of the Church will always be composed of such men, they will be chosen in such manner, that the Saints can be assured that solid wisdom, righteousness, and conscientious adherence to duty, will characterize the policy of those who are entrusted with the administration of the affairs of the Church. While, from time to time, as the work of the Lord may have need of their services, men of exceptional talents and abilities will develop among the people of God; and without disorder or eruption or excitement, they will be called of the Lord through the appointed agencies of the Priesthood and Church authority, to positions that will afford them opportunity for service. They will be accepted by the Saints in the regular order, appointed by the law of the Church.—GD 381.

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205Chapter 17

206JUDICIAL PROVISIONS

2061. THE JURISDICTION OF CHURCH COURTS

206The jurisdiction of Church Courts extends solely to cases of infractions of the moral law, wherein members are considered guilty of "un-Christian-like," and to other violations of the laws, rules, and discipline of the Church. A Church court would never undertake to reverse a decision of the courts of law, neither would it take notice of matters for which the civil law makes provisions, except in cases where wickedness and depravity are evidently manifest. In such instances a person might be condemned in both courts.

206We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies, provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world's goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, neither to inflict any physical punishment upon them; they can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship. We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted, or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same. 1 (D&C 134:10, 11.)—CG 165.

2062. PERSONAL SETTLEMENT OF MISUNDERSTANDINGS

206 - 207Members of the Church should attempt to settle their own difficulties, instead of bringing them before the Church. The Priesthood ward teachers should secure, if possible, friendly reconciliations among contending members. It is only when these, the best means, fail, that disputes should be brought before the officers of the Church for examination and judgment.

207The repentant person acknowledges that he has been in sin, first to himself, then to the Lord and, also, to the persons he has offended or who have a right to know.

207If the fault is only between him and the Lord, humble confession to the Lord is sufficient; if against a brother, acknowledgment to him is required; and if against the law, order and discipline of the Church, to the proper officers of the Church.—PC 173; see DC 42:88-92.

2073. SEEKING COUNSEL

207In case it is necessary to call in the Priesthood as a third party, there is a proper order in which this should be done. If no conclusion can be arrived at, in a difficulty or difference between two members of the Church, the ward teachers should be called to assist; failing then, appeal may be made to the Bishop, then to the High Council of the Stake, and only after the difficulty has been tried before the body should the matter ever come before the general Presiding Quorum of the Church. It is wrong to disregard any of these authorized steps, or authorities.—GD 160.

207We often find instances where the counsel and advice and judgment of the Priesthood next in order is entirely overlooked, or completely disregarded. Men go to the President of the Stake for counsel when, in reality, they should consult their Teachers or Bishop; and often come to the First Presidency, Apostles or Seventies, when the President of their Stake has never been spoken to. This is wrong, and not at all in compliance with the order of the Church. The Priesthood of the ward should never be overlooked in any case where the Stake Authorities are consulted; nor should the Stake Authorities be disregarded, that the counsel of the General Authorities may be obtained.—GD 161.

2084. CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

208In practice, the repentant person should confess his sin to the Bishop of his ward or president of his branch, with one witness present. Unless the offense is of a public nature, the matter should go on further; and those who receive the confession should not divulge the information with which they have been entrusted.

208Confession must be accompanied by a complete turning away from sin, if the repentance is genuine. It is by this test that repentance is measured. The officer to whom confession has been made, can judge of the sincerity of the repentance by the later actions of the individual.—PC 174.

208The person whose sin is known or suspected, but who denies the fact or does not repent by confession and a new mode of life, renders himself liable to the official censure and punishment of the Church. He is called before one of the tribunals of the Church, where his case is heard and judgment rendered.—PC 174.

208Treatment of Excommunicants and Disfellowshiped Members. Members who have been disfellowshiped or excommunicated should not be avoided or persecuted by the membership of the Church. On the contrary, they should be dealt with kindly and prayerfully, in the hope that they may turn from their mistakes, and receive again the full privileges of Church membership. Every effort should be made to show love to such persons, so that they may be encouraged to live so as to merit, again, the full privileges of the Church.—PC 175.

208Disfellowshipment may be terminated, and the person restored to fellowship in the Church, in evidence of sincere repentance and full compliance with the conditions imposed, only by action of the tribunal that dealt with the case or by that of the tribunal having superior jurisdiction. In every instance of application for restoration, after disfellowshipment by a Bishop's Court, the approval of the respective Stake Presidency must be obtained.—HI 107.

208 - 209Women who have received their endowments and have been excommunicated from the Church, if they repent, should have these blessings restored to them after being baptized into the Church. Inasmuch as women do not hold the Priesthood, it is unnecessary to submit each case for the written approval of the President of the Church, but members of the Council of the Twelve, when visiting the stakes, may investigate each case on their own responsibility and restore former blessings upon women who had been reconfirmed members of the Church, having had that authority delegated to them in advance by the President of the Church. Therefore, such persons do not need to take their temple endowments again. RC 1, August 13, 1925.

2095. OFFENSES AGAINST THE CHURCH

209There are really only three kinds of offenses of which the Church takes cognizance. First and most serious is the breaking of the moral law in any of its divisions. Second, deliberate disobedience to the regulations of the Church, which renders a person liable to such punishment as the Church can properly mete out to its members. Third, the incorrect interpretation of doctrine, coupled with an unwillingness to accept the correct view after proper explanations of the doctrine have been made. The first two types of violation are of conduct, the third of belief. All imply non-conformity to the practices of the Church or non-acceptance of its teachings.—PC 164.

2096. CHURCH PUNISHMENTS

209The Church can try offenders only for their membership in the Church. Any further punishment is in the hands of the civil courts. Members of the Church may either be disfellowshiped or excommunicated. A person who is disfellowshiped is denied the privileges of Church fellowship, until such time as he, having changed his course of life, is reinstated into full fellowship. Excommunication, however, means complete severance from the Church. The excommunicated person can regain membership only by baptism, as if he had never been a member before.—PC 164, see also MH 146.

2107. PRIMARY DUTY OF CHURCH TRIBUNALS

210It should always be remembered that the Church exists to save, not to condemn man. Every effort should be made to have contending parties settle their own difficulties, with the aid of ward Teachers if necessary; and to induce those who have erred to tread the way of forgiveness and thus make unnecessary the calling together of a Church tribunal of justice.

210Should it be necessary to call a person to a Church trial, those composing the council must use every endeavor to bring about reconciliation or confession in humility. Excommunication should be the last resort.

210All should be eager to keep those who are in the Church in full fellowship with the community of Saints.—PC 164.

2108. RIGHT OF APPEAL

210Any person found guilty of a properly preferred charge, who feels that he has been unjustly dealth with, has the right of appeal to the higher courts provided for in the revelations. 2PC 175.

2109. JUDGMENTS BY THE LAW OF THE LAND

210Judgments by the law of the land are respected by the Church. A decision by a civil court is held to be a sufficient basis for Church action.—PC 175.

21010. CHURCH TRIBUNALS OF JUSTICE

210Church Councils of Justice. Three standing courts or councils of justice exist in the regularly organized wards and stakes, and in the Church as a whole 3. These are, in ascending authority:

2101. The Ward Bishop's Court.

211JUDICIAL PROVISIONS

2112. The Stake High Council.

2113. Council of the First Presidency.

211The Ward Bishop's Court consists of the Bishop of the ward and his two counselors. The jurisdiction of this court is limited to members of the ward presided over by the Bishop, unless upon a change of venue he is directed by the Stake Presidency to hold court in some other ward. This court can inflict the extreme penalty of excommunication from the Church upon lay members or members of the Aaronic Priesthood found guilty; but only disfellowshipment upon men holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, though it may refer them to the Stake High Council for further action. (D&C 42:84-92; 134:10, 11.) Appeals from the decisions of this court may be made to the Stake High Council.

211The Stake High Council consists of twelve High Priests, presided over by the Stake President, assisted by his two counselors. Its procedure is patterned after the High Council first organized February 17, 1834, at Kirtland, Ohio, and presided over by the Prophet Joseph Smith.—D&C 102.

211Appeals from the Ward Bishop's Court come before the Stake High Council, though hearings may also originate there. Only the most important matters should come before the Stake High Council. Appeals from the decisions of the Stake High Council may be made to the First Presidency.

211The Council of the First Presidency consists of the President of the Church and his two counselors, who constitute a body competent to decide any or all cases that may arise in the Church. If for any reason the Presidency desire assistance, they "shall have power to call other High Priests, even twelve, to assist as counselors." (D&C 107:79.) One of the more important functions of this council is to review appeals from any of the Church courts. (D&C 102:27.) The decisions of this council are final.— PC 165.

21211. SPECIAL TRIBUNALS

212The revelations provide for three special Judicial Councils.

2121. The Presiding Bishop's Court.

2122. The Council of High Priests abroad.

2123. The Traveling High Council of the Twelve. Apostles.

212The Presiding Bishop's Court consists of the Presiding Bishop with his two counselors, and twelve High Priests especially chosen for the purpose. It is a tribunal extraordinary, from which there is no appeal, to be convened if it should be necessary to try a member of the First Presidency for crime or neglect of duty.—D&C 107:76, 82-83.

212The Council of High Priests abroad is another extraordinary council which may be convened outside of the stakes or organized missions of the Church to adjust important difficulties or to meet emergencies. Under the present organization of the missions of the Church, this Council is not required.

212The Traveling High Council of the Twelve Apostles have authority to take notice of any question pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Their decisions, if made in righteousness, are final and admit of no appeal, though they may be reviewed and reversed by the First Presidency if made in unrighteousness. (D&C.102:30-32; 107:32.) In practice, the Council of Twelve Apostles do not travel in a body, but go out separately under appointment of the First Presidency, and act under their instructions. As they travel about, they represent the First Presidency.—PC 166.

21212. DECISIONS

212All decisions are made by the presiding officer; then sustained by the members of the court. The sustaining of the decision must be unanimous to make it fully acceptable.—(See section 8, above.)

21313. COUNCIL OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY

213This Council is the highest of all. It consists primarily of the President of the Church and his two counselors, who constitute a body competent to decide any and all cases that may arise in the Church. However, if, for any important reason, the Presidency desire assistance, they "shall have power to call other High Priests, even twelve, to assist as counselors." (See D&C 107:79.)—CG 184.

213Original Jurisdiction Over Bishops and Certain High Priests. And again, no Bishop or High Priest who shall be set apart for this ministry shall be tried or condemned for any crime, save it be before the First Presidency of the Church:

213And inasmuch as he is found guilty before this presidency, by testimony that cannot be impeached, he shall be condemned;

213And if he repent he shall be forgiven, according to the covenants and commandments of the Church.—D&C 68:22-24.

213This Council or Court is co-extensive with the jurisdiction of all other councils and courts of the Church; that is, it may take notice judicially of a matter concerning any member, officer, or organization; in other words, it has original jurisdiction. But its most important function is that of a Court of Appeal. (D&C 102:27.) It reviews on appeal or writ of error, the final decision of any of the Church courts. And if it discovers any irregularities, errors or omissions in the findings of any of these tribunals, it may order a rehearing. On the other hand, if it finds that any case which has been appealed was regularly heard, and was decided upon the facts and according to the laws of the Church, it will affirm the same, and its decision is final.—CG 184; see also D&C 107:78-81.

21314. TRAVELING HIGH COUNCIL OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES

213 - 214This Council when abroad may take notice of any question pertaining to the Kingdom of God, judicial or otherwise. Within their sphere of action their decisions, if made in righteousness, are final and admit of no appeal. They can, however, be called to account in two ways: (1) by the First Presidency in case of transgression (D&C 102:30-32), and (2) by a general assembly of the several quorums forming the spiritual authorities of the Church, in case their decision is made in unrighteousness.—D&C 107:32. The Twelve may be directed at any time by the Council of the First Presidency to sit as a judicial body upon any matters arising in the Church.

214The Twelve as a Council "form a quorum, equal in authority and power to the three Presidents previously mentioned;" that is, the quorum of the First Presidency.—CG 191.

21415. COUNCIL OF HIGH PRIESTS ABROAD

214This Council was instituted for the adjustment of important difficulties, and for meeting emergencies which might arise outside of the organized Stakes of Zion. It is now unnecessary, as there is ample provision for all cases in the regular organizations of the Church.—CG 189.

21416. PRESIDING BISHOP'S COUNCIL

214Should the occasion ever arise that one of the First Presidency must be tried for crime or neglect of duty, his case would come before the Presiding Bishop with his counselors, and twelve High Priests especially chosen for the purpose. This would be a tribunal extraordinary—from which there is no appeal.—CG 187.

21417. PROCEDURE OF WARD BISHOP'S COURT

214 - 215Trials involving the fellowship or membership within the Church must be conducted in an orderly, precise and correct manner. That is the spirit of all Church work. Excommunication can occur only after such regular procedure. Even if a person asks to have his name stricken from the Church records, and his membership canceled, his case must be heard by the proper council.—PC 165.

215The procedure for a trial in a ward or mission branch is as follows:

215"(1) The complaint is drawn up and signed by the accuser and attested by the Bishop. (2) The summons is issued, in which a reasonable time is given for the accused to appear for trial. (3) When ready for trial, the court is opened with a prayer. (4) The complaint is read and the accused is asked to plead, if his written answer is not already filed. (5) If he plead "guilty," judgment is rendered. (6) If he plead "not guilty," the trial goes on. (7) Witnesses are examined to establish the truth of the charge. (8) Then witnesses are examined for the defense, and the accused may also testify in his own behalf. (9) The evidence of each witness is taken in writing by the clerk. (10) The testimony is read to the witness, errors corrected, then the witness signs it. (11) After all evidence is given, the Bishopric renders its decision. (12) The decision is written on a blank prepared for that purpose. (13) The accused should receive a copy of the decision. (14) If the accused holds the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the Bishop's Court recommend that he be excommunicated, a report is made at once to the High Council. (15) All papers entered in their consecutive order in a book kept for that purpose, make a complete record of the case."

215The presiding officer must render the decision, and then ask the Council to sustain the decision. To be of full force the sustaining vote of the Council should be unanimous.—PC 168.

215The Complaint. Accusation by one member against another, or by the ward Teachers against any member, is to be made in writing and must contain all essentials of the charge, so that the accused may be definitely informed as to what allegations he is to answer. It may be that the accuser is not conversant with the usual type of complaint, and he may present his accusations in the form of a letter; and such a letter may be accepted by the Bishopric as the complaint in the case, provided it definitely sets forth the charges. A convenient form of complaint follows:

216(Place and Date)

216To the Bishopric of Ward Stake of Zion.

216Dear Brethren:

216I (or we) (full names of accusers), hereby make to you a charge of evil (or unjust, or wicked, or un-Christian-like) conduct against (full name of accused): and in support thereof allege as follows:

216I (or we) respectfully suggest that the above-named accused be called to answer this complaint, before yourself as the Bishop's Court of this ward.

216When a written complaint reaches the Bishopric, they should have made a copy or copies for delivery to the accused person or persons in the case; but the original complaint must be retained by the Bishopric.—HI 102.

216A Summons is a paper which cites the accused person to appear before the court to answer to the charges preferred against him. This document is signed by the Bishop and the Clerk. This paper should be placed in the hands of two Teachers for service, that they may testify if required that the accused has been notified to appear.

216Form No. 2—In the Ward of the Stake of Zion, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accuser, against accused. To (state here name of accused)

216Greeting:

216 - 217You are hereby requested to be and appear before me the undersigned, at (state here place for holding trial) Stake of Zion, at o'clock m., on the day of 19 , to answer a charge filed against you by said accuser. Said accusation is made against you for un-Christian-like conduct, and reads as follows: (state here briefly nature of charge) And you are hereby notified that if you fail to appear and answer as above required without reasonable excuse, you will be dealt with according to the evidence, and the law of the Church in such matters.

217 Bishop. Dated this day of 19 Return of the Teachers. We hereby certify that we have served the within summons by delivering a true copy thereof to (state name of accused) Teachers.—CG 168.

217Citation. The foregoing instructions apply more particularly to the trial of individual cases in which one person accuses another on allegation of personal grievance. Besides such cases, there may be instances of wrong-doing, such as violation of the law and order of the Church, teaching of false doctrine, disobedience to Church regulations and requirements, encouraging any or all such evils by example or by open or covert advice—in none of which is any one member of the Church personally injured or aggrieved more than others. It may be that no person comes forward as an accuser. Under these conditions, it is the duty of the Bishopric to appoint two or more men of discretion, who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, to investigate the case and to make accusation in due form if findings so warrant.

217However, in cases of reputed wrong-doing wherein no accuser appears, the Bishopric should cite the alleged wrong-doer, as well as witnesses, to appear before the Bishop's Court for investigation or trial. A convenient form of citation follows:

217(Place and Date)

217In the Ward of the Stake of Zion. To

217Dear Brother (or Sister):

217 - 218You are hereby requested to appear before the Bishop's Court of this ward at (place of meeting) on the day of 19 , at o'clock (a.m. or p.m.) for investigation of alleged wrong-doing on your part as follows:

218(Statement of important points to be inquired into or investigation to be made.)

218You should be present, with witnesses, if you desire them, at the place and time specified. If there is any good reason why you cannot be present, kindly notify the undersigned in due time. In the event of your absence, without excuse, action must necessarily be taken in accordance with the evidence and the established procedure of the Church in such matters.

218 Bishop

218A copy of the citation should be served on the person to whom it is addressed by two or more Teachers, or by others holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, appointed by the Bishopric; and the persons making service should certify their action to the Bishop, in the manner prescribed for the service of a summons.

218The procedure in a case brought before a Bishop's Court by citation, and the decisions rendered therein, are equally valid and binding as in cases tried on complaint and summons.—HI 103-104.

218Invitation of Witnesses. In cases coming before the Bishop's Court, the Bishopric may invite witnesses to appear and testify as to their knowledge in the matter. They should first be consulted by the bishopric in order to determine the extent of their knowledge of the facts and their willingness to give the evidence. If any witnesses object to the giving of testimony, undue pressure should not be brought to bear upon them.—HI 104.

218 - 219Objection to Personnel. If either party to a case set for trial in a Bishop's Court objects to the personnel of the court, he must present his objections, together with an adequate statement of reasons therefor, in writing, to the Bishop, who will forthwith report the matter to the Stake Presidency. It is within the power of the Stake Presidency, if they deem the reason set forth by the objector to be real and sufficient, to transfer the case to some other Bishopric within the stake, for hearing and decision. Under direction of the Stake Presidency, the High Council may assume original jurisdiction in such cases, as in any others arising in the wards of the stake.—HI 104-105.

219Trial Procedure. The Bishop and his counselors sit as a trial court. When, through disability, one or both of the counselors are unable to attend, or are disqualified, the Bishop may appoint one or two High Priests to sit with him as members of the Bishop's Court for the hearing of the particular case at issue; but the names of such specially appointed High Priests must first be submitted to and be approved by the Stake Presidency.

219The proceeding should be opened and closed with prayer. The court should decide and announce before the hearing is begun whether witnesses, other than the signer or signers of the complaint, shall be allowed to be present throughout the proceedings, or be brought in one by one, as their testimony is called for. Any ruling on this point must apply equally to witnesses on both sides. The order of procedure outlined below should be followed in the trial.

219A full record of all proceedings, including the essential parts of the testimony given by each witness, must be made by the ward clerk, or other person or persons appointed by the court to act as clerk or clerks at the trial.

219The complaint is read by the clerk, or by one of the court, and the service of complaint and summons is announced. The accused is called upon to make an answer. If the answer be an acknowledgment of guilt, the court may inquire as to the facts and will then, or later, render a decision. If the accused denies the charges, the trial is to proceed. The accuser or accusers first testify, or make a statement of the case, and then the court calls upon his witnesses, one by one, to testify. Cross-examination of the accuser and other witnesses may be made by the accused. The court will rule on any question as to the admissibility of evidence, or the like, and must maintain orderly procedure, with due regard to the rights of both parties.

219 - 220When all the evidence on the part of the accuser has been heard and recorded, the accused may testify in his own behalf, and the court will call his witnesses, one by one, to testify. The court may question any witness both on direct and cross-examination.—HI 105-106.

220Procedure in Rendering Decisions. After all the testimony has been heard and recorded, the three members of the court may consult among themselves and formulate their decision; or if the court desires further time for consideration, the case may be taken under advisement and the session be adjourned to a fixed date. The decision is announced by the Bishop; and if it be concurred in by his counselors, or by one of them, it stands as the decision of the Bishop's Court: but a conclusion of the counselors, in which the Bishop does not concur, is not a decision of the Bishop's Court. In such an instance the case must be retried or be referred to the Stake Presidency, who will determine as to further procedure.

220A written copy of the decision, signed by the Bishop, is to be furnished each of the parties to the case as soon as possible after the decision is rendered.—HI 106.

220Recording of Action Taken. In the case of persons who have been disfellowshiped or excommunicated from the Church, entry should be made on the Ward Record of Members and the record of proceedings of the Bishop's Court and of the High Council should be entered in the ward historical record, so that if a certificate of membership is requested for a disfellowshiped person, there should be written across the face of the certificate of membership in bold letters, the word "Disfellowshiped," giving the reason.—HI 108.

220No records should be made of minor transgressions of young people who make confessions and are forgiven, or of cases of similar character and strictly private nature, when so considered by a Bishop or a Bishopric. But a record should be made of any cases tried in the regular way by a Bishop's Court.

220 - 221Where there is gossip in a community concerning alleged transgression, the Ward Teachers should make diligent inquiry. If they are satisfied that transgression does exist, it should be reported to the Bishop. It then becomes the duty of the Bishop to make further investigation and to act accordingly.

221The regulation of confessions should be left to the Bishopric of the ward in which the wrong-doing occurs. Each case should be considered by them on its own merits, and disposed of according to the publicity already given to it. For instance, where persons guilty of adultery or fornication confess their sin, and their transgression is known to themselves only, the confession to the Bishopric should not be made public or be recorded. But where publicity has been given to it the confession should be made before the Priesthood of the ward at the regular weekly Priesthood meeting: or if it be deemed advisable that a still more public confession be made, it should be at the monthly fast meeting and not at the regular Sacrament meeting.

221Confession of women may be made to the Bishopric of the ward, and they may make such explanations to the Priesthood as may be considered necessary. The object of this restriction is to confine the confession as much as possible to the circle acquainted with the wrong-doings and to avoid spreading the knowledge of sin, in accordance with the revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 42:89, which says that such things "shall be done in a meeting, and that not before the world."

221It is difficult to give any set rule for the handling of cases involving moral conduct. Each case should, of course, be considered on its merits and according to the seriousness of the offense.

221 - 222The prevailing opinion in cases involving young unmarried couples who are obliged to marry is to be as lenient as possible, considering always their future lives and the effect which unnecessary publicity may have upon them. Too severe action often defeats the ends of justice. This would be more harmful to the individuals, to their families, and the community than any good which it is hoped to accomplish by drastic measures. If transgressions are known only to the persons involved and they appeal to the Bishop of the ward in the spirit of repentance for forgiveness, it is perfectly proper that the case be heard by the Bishop of the ward only, who will in wisdom consider the facts and render such decision as his good judgment may dictate. If the Bishop feels that they should be forgiven and reinstated to their privileges in the Church, it is his right to take such action and avoid further publicity. We believe that young people should have every chance of redemption and the possibility of a successful life, if proper and satisfactory amends are made, without the stigma of their error accompanying them throughout their lives.

222Of course, in cases of immoral conduct which have become public knowledge and an offense against the community, more drastic measures may be required. If a young couple under such conditions have made amends as far as possible by marrying in good faith, and if in conference with the Bishopric they manifest the spirit of repentance, it would be proper, where the case has become public, for them to arise in fast meeting and, without stating the nature of the transgression, express the desire to repent and obtain forgiveness for any wrong that they may have done and to go forward and live in harmony with the principles of righteousness.—HI 98-100.

222Proceeding Against Members in Civil Custody. In the event that any member of the Church should be convicted in the criminal courts and imprisoned, it is necessary in case of proposed proceedings against him in the Bishop's Court, that he should be present at the hearing; or, if agreeable, give his deposition in writing. If there is any indication of the spirit of repentance on his part, or even if there is not, it is very desirable that he should be visited by the Bishopric, or if inaccessible should be written to, and encouraged in kindliness and tact, to cultivate faith and determination to live right.—HI 107-108.

22218. PROCEDURE OF HIGH COUNCIL TRIALS

222 - 223Instructions for Organization and Procedure. Whenever a High Council of the Church of Christ is regularly organized, according to the foregoing pattern, it shall be the duty of the twelve councilors to cast lots by numbers, and thereby ascertain who of the twelve shall speak first, commencing with number one, and so in succession to number twelve.

223Whenever this council convenes to act upon any case, the twelve councilors shall consider whether it is a difficult one or not; if it is not, two only of the councilors shall speak upon it, according to the form above written.

223But if it is thought to be difficult, four shall be appointed; and if more difficult, six; but in no case shall more than six be appointed to speak.

223The accused, in all cases, has a right to one-half of the council, to prevent insult or injustice.

223And the councilors appointed to speak before the council are to present the case, after the evidence is examined, in its true light before the council; and every man is to speak according to equity and justice.

223Those councilors who draw even numbers, that is, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, are the individuals who are to stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice.

223In all cases the accuser and the accused shall have the privilege of speaking for themselves before the council, after the evidences are heard and the councilors who are appointed to speak on the case, have finished their remarks.

223After the evidences are heard, and the councilors, accuser and accused have spoken, the president shall give a decision according to the understanding which he shall have of the case, and call upon the twelve councilors to sanction the same by their vote.

223But should the remaining councilors, who have not spoken, or any of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing.

223And if, after a careful re-hearing, any additional light is shown upon the case, the decision shall be altered accordingly.

223But in case no additional light is given, the first decision shall stand, the majority of the council having power to determine the same.

244In case of difficulty respecting doctrine or principle, if there is not a sufficiency written to make the case clear to the minds of the council, the president may inquire and obtain the mind of the Lord by revelation.

244The High Priests, when abroad, have power to call and organize a council after the manner of the foregoing, to settle difficulties, when the parties or either of them shall request it.

244And the said council of High Priests shall have power to appoint one of their own number to preside over such council for the time being.

244It shall be the duty of said council to transmit, immediately, a copy of their proceedings, with a full statement of the testimony accompanying their decision, to the High Council of the seat of the First Presidency of the Church.

244Should the parties or either of them be dissatisfied with the decision of said council, they may appeal to the High Council of the seat of the First Presidency of the Church, and have a re-hearing, which case shall there be conducted, according to the former pattern written, as though no such decision had been made.—D&C 102:12-27.

244Jurisdiction of High Council. Cases involving the standing or fellowship of members of the Church, are brought before the Council, (1) on appeal from the Bishop's Court, or (2) by citation from the Council based on an original charge or complaint.—CG177.

244Procedure in Appeal From Bishop's Court. In an appeal from the Bishop's Court, there are three modes of procedure: (1) If the testimony from the lower court is satisfactory to both parties, the Council may either affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the Bishopric. (2) If the testimony is objected to by either of the parties, the Council may hear the case over again, as if it had never been heard. (3) If the Council shall discover irregularities, or find that new testimony could be adduced, it may remand the case back for re-hearing in the Bishop's Court.

244An appeal may be taken also from a Stake High Council to the Council of the First Presidency, who may review the proceedings, and if there have been irregularities, order a re-hearing.—CG 175.

225Guiding Principles Enunciated by Joseph Smith.

225Saturday, July 11, 1840.—The High Council met at my office, when I taught them principles relating to their duty as a Council, and that they might be guided by the same in future, I ordered it to be recorded as follows: "That the Council should try no case without both parties being present, or having had an opportunity to be present; neither should they hear one person's complaint before his case is brought up for trial; neither should they suffer the character of any one to be exposed before the High Council without the person being present and ready to defend himself or herself; that the minds of the councilors be not prejudiced for or against any one whose case they may possibly have to act upon."—T 164.

225General Instructions on Appeals.

2251. Upon your having received from the Bishop notification of an appeal, it is your duty to acknowledge in writing the receipt of such notification.

2252. Set the date for the hearing and notify the appellant, giving him due notice of such hearing.

2253. Upon the convening of the Council (consisting of twelve members), the councilors should draw numbers. Those who hold even numbers, that is, two, four, six, eight, ten and twelve, are to represent the accused; those who have the odd numbers, one, three, five, seven, nine, and eleven, will represent the accuser.

2254. The President of the Stake should then designate one or more (depending upon the gravity of the case) to be spokesmen in each group.

2255. Since it is assumed that each one present is only desirous of ascertaining the facts in the case, there can be no reasonable objection to questions being asked by any member of the Council. However, in an orderly conducted trial such questions should be propounded through those appointed to speak.

2256. As the six men named above are appointed to "prevent insult or injustice" to the accused, there is no reason for his bringing in other and outside counsel.

2257. The accused may of course present any witness that he wishes.

2268. After all evidence is in those appointed to speak will make their summary.

2269. The President and his counselors will then retire, and after consultation with his counselors, the President will render the decision. The presumption is that the three of the Presidency will be united in this decision. The High Council will then be asked either to approve or disapprove of the decision. If a majority of the High Council endorse it, it then becomes the decision of the High Council.

22610. If any of the High Councilmen or Presidency are interested in the case pending, or if they are in any way interested in the question, they should not act either as judges or as Councilmen.—RC 2, January 25, 1938.

22619. IN THE MISSIONS

226In the instance of any member of the Church in a Mission who may be charged with transgression, the Branch Presidency, when designated by the Mission President, have the authority to try the case and to take final action for excommunication, if the evidence so justifies, in all instances except Melchizedek Priesthood shall have been tried and found guilty as charged, and when action of disfellowshipment has been taken by the Branch Presidency court, the case should be referred to the Mission President for further consideration. The Mission President should then arrange to convene a trial council of twelve High Priests or Elders over which he should preferably preside. If, for any justifiable reason, he is unable to preside over such Council, he should designate the district president or some capable High Priest or Elder as the president of such trial Council. The procedure in such case is to be similar to that described in Section 102 of the Doctrine and Covenants relative to High Council trials.—MPB 91; see also MH 147-151.

226Because the missions are organized on a basis somewhat different from the stakes and wards the legal procedure is slightly different. However, the identical principles are in operation.

227If an individual expresses a desire to have his name taken from the rolls of the Church, or whenever a case of contention or violation of Church regulations arises, the Priesthood branch Teachers should earnestly seek to bring the offender or offenders to repentance and reconciliation. If they are not successful, the necessity for a Church trial should be reported by the Branch President, through the District President, to the Mission President.

227Only the Mission President has authority within the mission to authorize trial of a Church member for his fellowship or membership in the Church.—MH 147.

227The Complaint. Accusation by one member against another, or by the branch Teachers against any member, must be made in writing, and must contain all essentials of the charge, so that the accused may be informed as to what allegations he is to answer.

227This complaint may be in the form of a letter to the Branch or District Presidency, stating the accusations and signed by the accusers. The Branch or District President should then have copies made of the complaint, one of which should be sent to the Mission President with a letter detailing the circumstances of the case.—MH 148.

227The Elders' Court. If the Mission President concurs in the opinion that the accused should be brought to trial, he will authorize the calling together of a court of competent jurisdiction—organized on the basis of a court in a stake of Zion, with a presidency of three, and a council, half of whose members appear against and half who appear for the accused.

227In all cases of Church trial in the Mission, the Mission President appoints the president and members of the court; and in case of trial for membership, he sits himself as president of the court, except under unusual circumstances.

227In cases where the Mission President cannot sit as president of the court, if the person to be tried is a lay member or a man holding the Aaronic Priesthood, the Mission President will appoint a council consisting probably, though not necessarily, of the Branch Presidency and a number of local and traveling Elders—such numbers as may be conveniently available, but never large.

228If the person to be tried holds the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the Mission President cannot sit as president of the court, he usually appoints the district president as the presiding officer of a council consisting of a number of available local and traveling Elders.

228A clerk is always appointed to keep accurate and complete minutes of all proceedings.

228No person involved in the case can sit as a member of the court. If the accused fears prejudice on the part of the court members, he may request that the hearing be held before unprejudiced persons, perhaps in another branch or district.

228The accused has the right to bring witnesses in all cases.—MH 148.

228The Summons. With the appointment of a court the presiding officer should then appoint a time and place for the trial, and issue a summons to the accused. This, together with a copy of the complaint, should be delivered to the accused by two of the branch Teachers or other competent men duly appointed by the presiding officer.

228Two copies of the summons should be prepared for each person to be summoned, one of which copies is to be left with the person served therewith, and the other copy to be returned to the presiding officer, with certification of service. If, for good reason, the accused cannot be present at the appointed time, the presiding officer should set another time that is reasonable.—MH 149.

228The foregoing instructions apply particularly to the trial of individual cases in which one person accuses another on allegation of personal grievance. They also apply in cases of wrong-doing, wherein one member of the Church is no more aggrieved than any other, and no one individual comes forth as the accuser, whereupon the Branch or District President appoints two or more men holding the Melchizedek Priesthood to investigate the case and, where warranted, make accusation in the form of a complaint.

228 - 229However, in cases of wrong-doing wherein no accuser appears, the Branch or District Presidency should cite the alleged wrong-doer, as well as witnesses, to appear before the Elders' Court for investigation or trial.

229A copy of the citation should be served on the person to whom it is addressed by two or more Teachers, or others holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, appointed by the presiding officers. The persons making service should certify their action to the presiding officer in the manner described for the service of summons.—MH 150.

229The Trial. When the court is called to order, prayer is offered. The complaint is then read by the clerk or by one of the court, and the service of complaint and summons is announced. The accused is called upon to make an answer. If the answer be an acknowledgment of guilt, the court may inquire as to the facts, and will then, or later, render a decision. If the accused denies the charges the trial proceeds.

229The accuser or accusers first testify, or make a statement of the case; and then the court calls upon his or their witnesses one by one to testify. Cross-examination of the accuser and the witnesses may be made by the accused. The court will rule on any question as to the advisability of evidence, or the like, and must maintain orderly procedure, with due regard to the rights of both parties.

229The evidence of each witness is taken in writing by the clerk, read back to the witness, corrected where necessary, and the witness signs it.

229When all the evidence on the part of the accuser has been heard and recorded, the accused may testify in his own behalf, and the court will call his witnesses, one by one to testify. The court may question any witnesses, both on direct and cross-examination.—MH 150.

229The Decision. After all evidence is given the presiding officer may at the time or after consideration, nominate a decision, which is either sustained or rejected by those sitting with him.

229It must be borne in mind that the Church inflicts just two types of penalties: Disfellowshipment and excommunication. A Branch Elders' Court cannot excommunicate a man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood.

230If the Mission President is not sitting as president of the court, the decision of the court, with a written transcript of the proceedings of the trial is sent to him. When returned by the Mission President the accused is sent a copy of the decision.—MH 151.

230Appeal. The accused has the right of appeal from the approved decision of the court to the First Presidency.—MH 151.

230The procedure of the hearing should follow closely that prescribed for the Ward Bishop's Council.

230The presiding officer must render the decision, and then ask the Council to sustain the decision. To be of full force the sustaining vote of the Council should be unanimous.—SP 85.

230Trial of Melchizedek Priesthood Bearers in the Missions. In the case of Melchizedek Priesthood members, any action by the Branch Presidency which has been authorized by the Mission President can only be for disfellowshipment, and action for excommunication must be taken under the direction of the Mission President. In such instances the action of the Branch Presidency court and a copy of the proceedings should be referred to the Mission President. He should then arrange to convene a trial council of twelve High Priests, or Elders, over which he should preferably preside. If, on account of circumstances, he is unable to preside, then the District President or some capable High Priest or Elder should be designated to preside over the Council. The procedure in such cases should be similar to that given in Section 102 of the Doctrine and Covenants, relative to High Council proceedings.—MPB 34-35.

23020. NOTES IN GENERAL

230Excommunication.

230(1) People are not liable to excommunication for trivial acts of disobedience. A person who commits a great sin, or continues to speak ill of the Church, is liable to excommunication, but only after he has been labored with long and prayerfully.

231(2) Before a person is excommunicated, or a hearing of the case authorized, the permission of the Mission President must be obtained.

231(3) An ecclesiastical court competent to try a person for his fellowship or membership in the Church is composed of as many of the missionaries in the district as may be conveniently assembled. The District President is the presiding officer, who after the court has found the charges true, renders the decision and asks the court to sustain it. Usually the finding of the court must be approved by the Mission President.

231(4) Careful records should be made of the proceedings of the court and forwarded to the mission office.

231(5) If the person is found guilty of the charges made and the decision of the court is excommunication, the person involved should be notified of the action taken and the records of the Church should be made to show that the person is no longer a member of the Church.—IDS 47.

231Withdrawing Membership. If a certificate of membership is received for a person who does not desire to become accepted in the ward (branch) nor to be considered a member of the Church, and desires his name taken from the records, he should first be labored with in kindliness and patience to endeavor to bring him to repentance. If, however, he still persists in his determination to leave the Church, he should be invited to appear before the Bishop's (Elder's) Court or to send a letter expressing his wishes. The Bishop's (Elder's) Court should then take formal action to excommunicate such person for "apostasy and at his (or her) own request." If the person is a man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, the Bishop's (Elder's) Court can, of course, only disfellowship him and report its action to the Stake Presidency and High Council for further action of excommunication."—MG 111.

231The Church does not issue printed forms of complaint, accusation or citation in such cases, but leaves this matter to the respective mission presidents to draw up the document in accordance with the circumstances of the individual case. The style of document used in Bishops'

232Courts and High Councils may serve as a general guide.—RC 2, January 21, 1932.

232Non-Members As Witnesses in Church Courts. It has been and is regarded by the Church authorities as inadvisable generally to bring non-members of the Church before tribunals either in the stakes or missions. If, however, a non-member is considered to be a material witness, the trial body may consider the advisability of securing the evidence of such a witness through a properly arranged interview with the witness, directed by the tribunal. In the event, however, that the testimony is secured at such an interview, great caution should be exercised in the acceptance of such testimony when not generally corroborated by witnesses appearing in due course at the trial.—RC 2. January 21, 1932.

Footnotes

1. For additional scriptural injunction see D&C 64:12; 20:80; 64:37; 40:42:79-87; Matt. 18:15-17; Mosiah 26:29-31, 6-13, 33-37.

2. See Section 11 for manner of appeal in Church tribunals.

3. Effective machinery for the arbitration and pacific settlement of most disputes exists in the organization of the Priesthood into Ward Teachers.

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233Chapter 18

233CALLING AND ORDAINING MEN TO THE PRIESTHOOD AND CHURCH OFFICES

2331. THE RIGHT OF NOMINATION

233Nominating Officers. The various officers of the Church are nominated by those holding the proper higher office in the organized Church; then submitted to the people for approval or disapproval. For example, the Presidency of the Church may appoint officers for the Church anywhere; the Presidency of a stake for a stake; the Bishopric of a ward for the ward; the President of a mission for the mission; and the Presidency of a branch, for the branch.

233However, the name of the person so appointed must be submitted to the people over whom they are to preside, to be upheld by the "confidence, faith, and the prayer of the Church" (D&C 107:22) or to be rejected. No person can lawfully serve in any Church position, unless he has been so sustained by the people.—PC 153.

2332. ACCEPTANCE BY THE PEOPLE

233No official member of the Church has authority to go into any branch thereof, and ordain any minister for that Church, unless it is by the voice of that branch. No Elder has authority to go into any branch of the Church, and appoint meetings, or attempt to regulate the affairs of the Church, without the advice and consent of the Presiding Elder of that branch.—T 75.

233The Law of Common Consent. And all things shall be done by common consent in the Church, by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen.—D&C 26:2.

233No person is to be ordained to any office in this Church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that Church.—D&C 20:65.

233 - 234Every officer of the Priesthood or auxiliary organizations, though properly nominated, holds his position in the Church only with the consent of the people. Officers may be nominated by the Presidency of the Church, but unless the people accept them as officials, they cannot exercise the authority of the offices to which they have been called. All things in the Church must be done by common consent. This makes the people, men and women, under God, the rulers of the Church. Even the President of the Church, before he can fully enter upon his duties, or continue in the office, must be sustained by the people. It is the common custom in the Church to vote on Church officers in the general, stake and ward conferences. This gives every member an opportunity to vote for or against the officers. Meanwhile, the judiciary system of the Church is such that there is ample provision whereby any officer of the Church, if found in error, may be brought to justice and if found guilty be removed from his position.

234Priesthood Officials Are Responsible to the People. Since the authority of the Priesthood is vested in all the people, it follows that the officials of the Priesthood must be responsible to the people. The responsibility and work of the Church are not only for, but by, the people as a whole.—RT 108.

234Sustaining Officers. We desire that the brethren and sisters will all feel the responsibility of expressing their feelings in relation to the propositions that may be put before them. We do not want any man or woman who is a member of the Church to violate his conscience. Of course, we are not asking apostates or non-members of the Church to vote on the authorities of the Church. We only ask for members of the Church in good standing to vote on the propositions that shall be put before them, and we would like all to vote as they feel, whether for or against.—GD 157.

234 - 235The Method of Procedure in Sustaining the President of the Church. The Presidency of the Church will first express their minds, thus indicating, at least in some degree, the mind of the Spirit and the suggestions from the head. Then the proposition will be submitted to the Apostles, for them to show their willingness or otherwise to sustain the action of the First Presidency. It will then go to the Patriarchs, and they will have the privilege of showing whether they will sustain the action that has been taken; then to the Presidents of Stakes and Counselors and the High Councilors; then to the High Priests (that office in the Melchizedek Priesthood which holds the keys of presidency); next the traveling Elders—the Seventies—will be called to express their feelings; and then the Elders; then the Bishoprics of the Church and the Lesser Priesthood, and after them the whole congregation. All the members of the Church present will have the privilege of expressing their views in relation to the matters which shall be proposed, by a rising vote and by the uplifted hand.—GD 158.

2353. OFFICERS TO BE SUSTAINED AT CONFERENCES

235The General Authorities of the Church, and all officers whether of general or local jurisdiction, are to be sustained in their several positions by the vote of the people over whom they are appointed to preside. Stake and ward officers are so voted upon by the local organizations, the General Authorities and general officers by the Church in conference assembled. Conferences of the Church are held at semi-annual intervals; stake conferences are convened quarterly, ward conferences annually, and at these conferences the vote of the people on nominations to office is an important feature. The principle of common consent is thus observed in all the organizations of the Church.—AF 209.

2354. DUTIES AND AUTHORITY OF OFFICERS OF THE PRIESTHOOD

235Church Officers and Leaders are Servants of the People. Officers of the Church are servants of the people over whom they are called to preside. Unless they can forget themselves in their labor for others, they fail in their efforts.—PC 154.

235The Law of Jurisdiction. The extent of the official authority of any officer of the Church is limited to the unit or division of the Church which he has been called to serve;

236and he is subject to the direction of those holding the corresponding higher authority. In fact, names nominated by the proper officials for appointment, must often be sent to the next higher council for approval. Then only can a proper call to service be issued.—PC 154.

236When a man is set apart to administer in any of the offices of the Priesthood, if he magnifies his calling and lives in the spirit of it, his authority in that sphere is unquestionable, his counsels are the dictates of inspiration, and they will impart life and salvation to all who will follow them.—MS 17:226.

236Duty of Officers to Observe the Law of God. The Lord here especially demands of the men who stand at the head of this Church, and who are responsible for the guidance and direction of the people of God, that they shall see to it that the law of God is kept. It is our duty to do this.—GD 156.

236Church Appointments Not Permanent. There is no appointment in this Church, that I know of, that is absolutely permanent, excepting the Holy Priesthood, which we are called to hold. When we receive that we hold it in this life, and we take it with us in the life to come. We exercise it in the world, and we exercise it out of the world, so long as we are faithful.—CR, 1901, 65, Rudger Clawson.

236Plural Marriage Impossible of Performance: Right Therefor Does Not Exist. No man upon the face of the earth has any right or any authority to perform a plural marriage, and there are no plural marriages today in the Church of Christ, because no human being has the right to perform them. Therefore, any person pretending to have that right is attempting to exercise an authority that he does not have, and therefore he does not perform a marriage and there is no marriage covenant when such ceremonies are performed.

236 - 237We have excommunicated several Patriarchs because they arrogated unto themselves the right, or pretended right, to perform these ceremonies; and after our having excommunicated several Patriarchs, another one, so I am informed, has committed the same offense. I announce to all Israel that no living man has the right to perform plural marriages. I announce that no Patriarch has the right to perform any marriage at all in the Church. We have delegated, at the present time, to the Presidents of Stakes and to the Bishops of Wards, the right to perform lawful marriages, and there has been delegated to some Elders who held positions as county clerks, the right to exercise the authority of the Priesthood to perform legal marriages for time.—CR, 1921, 202, Heber J. Grant.

2375. RELEASES OF OFFICERS

237Power to Nominate is Power to Release. The power to release is also possessed by the officers of the Priesthood. All releases should be placed before the people concerned for their approving vote. This arrangement eliminates from the Church office-seeking and its attendant evil.—PC 154.

237Practice of the Church With Regard to Office Holding. Appointment to any office in the Church is for an indefinite length of time. When a call to fill an office comes, it should be accepted gladly, and when the release comes, it should not be resisted.

237Rotation in office is the practice of the Church, so that all members may be given the experience that comes from serving in official positions. We should be glad to relinquish a post to give a brother or sister the chance to gain that which we have been privileged to enjoy.

237When the president of an organization is released, the counselors are automatically released also. It is not the Church practice to promote persons from one position to another. For example, it does not follow, when a president is released, that the first counselor is appointed in his stead. All offices in the Church are necessary and therefore equal before the Lord. The Spirit dictates the filling of offices.—SP 46.

2376. FITNESS FOR ORDINATION

237 - 238"Lay hands suddenly on no man," says the Apostle Paul, and so say we. The neglect of the above caution, by those holding responsible stations in the Church, has been the source of much evil. Be careful to call men of "good report"—men whose ruling desire is to bring their passions and appetites in perfect subjection to their will, and their will in perfect subjection to the laws and commandments of God.—MS 12:42.

238Diligence Necessary. Let it be always ascertained whether, if a person be ordained, he is so situated as to discharge the duties of his office; if he be not, let him tarry without ordination until opportunity offers for him to labor therein. Never ordain men to sit merely in a council meeting, without otherwise executing the duties of their individual office, or you may soon find that with them it is much easier to find fault with others than to do their own duty. Those individuals who are most diligent in the discharge of their own duties, are generally the last to become the accusers of the brethren, because they are better employed.—MS 7:91.

2387. HOW MEN ARE ORDAINED AND SET APART

238The revelation in section 107, Doctrine and Covenants, verses 1, 5, 6, 7, 21, clearly points out that the Priesthood is a general authority or qualification, with certain offices or authorities appended thereto.

238All ordinances and settings apart should be done in the name of Jesus Christ, by the authority of the Holy Priesthood, and by the laying on of hands.

238 - 239The Priesthood Greater Than Its Offices. There is no office growing out of the Priesthood that is or can be greater than the Priesthood itself. It is from the Priesthood that the office derives its authority and power. No office gives authority to the Priesthood. No office adds to the power of the Priesthood. But all offices in the Church derive their power, their virtue, their authority, from the Priesthood. If our brethren would get this principle thoroughly established in their minds, there would be less misunderstanding in relation to the functions of government in the Church than there is. Today the question is, which is the greater—the high priest or the seventy—the seventy or the high priest? I tell you that neither of them is the greater, and neither is the lesser. Their callings lie in different directions, but they are from the same Priesthood.—GD 184.

239Acceptance of the Covenant of the Priesthood a Serious Matter. This makes a very serious matter of receiving this covenant and this Priesthood; for those who receive it must, like God himself, abide in it, and must not fail, and must not be moved out of the way; for those who receive this oath and covenant and turn away from it, and cease to do righteously and to honor this covenant, and will to abide in sin, and repent not, there is no forgiveness for them, either in this life or in the world to come. That is the language of this book, [The Doctrine and Covenants] and this is the doctrine and truth which was revealed from God to men through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith the Prophet. And this word is reliable. It is God's word in truth; and it becomes necessary for all those who enter into this covenant to understand this word that they may indeed abide in it, and may not be turned out of the way.—GD. 185-186. April CR. 1898, p. 65.

2398. CERTIFICATES OF ORDINATION

239After each ordination to the Priesthood certificates of ordination are prepared under proper authority by the responsible secretaries. Such certificates are documents of record and should be carefully preserved.

2399. TRACING OF PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY

239Every Priesthood bearer should seek to trace the authority that he holds through the successive ordinations leading back to the ordinations of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, first to the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist, and secondly to the Melchizedek Priesthood by Peter, James and John. (See Appendix I.)

23910. AARONIC PRIESTHOOD

239 - 240Setting Apart of Presidencies. The Presidencies of the Deacons', Teachers', and Priests' quorums of the Aaronic Priesthood are set apart by the Bishopric of Wards. The Bishop, presiding over the Priests' quorum and over the Ward Aaronic Priesthood as a whole, is set apart by members of the First Presidency or the Council of Twelve, or Assistants to the Twelve, or the Presiding Bishopric.—RC 1, June 18, 1918.

240Presidents and counselors of quorums of the Aaronic Priesthood may be chosen and set apart by the Bishoprics at a regular quorum meeting, after receiving the sustaining vote of the quorum members.—RC 1, August 15, 1922.

240Calling To Office. The ward Bishopric may call men to be ordained to offices in the Aaronic Priesthood. As elsewhere stated, the boy is ordained a Deacon at 12 years of age, then advanced successively to the offices of Teacher and Priest. Men may, of course, be ordained to any office in the Aaronic Priesthood, irrespective of earlier ordination, but usually it is better to advance men in regular order through the various offices from Deacon to Priest.

240Ordinations—General Instructions. In general, ordinations to the Aaronic Priesthood are under the direction of the ward Bishopric, and ordinations to the Melchizedek Priesthood are under the direction of the Stake Presidency, except as to the ordinations of Seventies.—H 194.

24011. BISHOPS AND BISHOPS' COUNSELORS

240 - 241Selection of Ward Bishoprics. It is the duty of the Stake Presidency to recommend to the First Presidency faithful men for Bishops, whom they consider best qualified for this important calling in the various wards. Such recommendations should receive the approval of the High Council before being submitted to the First Presidency. Men thus recommended should not be spoken to about the proposed appointment until after the approval of the First Presidency shall have been obtained. When thus approved, Bishops should have the opportunity to recommend the selection of their counselors. The names of the Bishopric should then be presented to the people of the ward for their vote. Bishops are to be ordained by members of the First Presidency, or under appointment by members of the Council of the Twelve or of Assistants to the Twelve or Presiding Bishopric.—HI 7-8.

241Right of Bishop in Selection of Counselors. Counselors to Bishops should be the direct choice of the Bishops themselves, subject, however, to approval of the Stake Presidency and High Council, also subject to the approval of the Apostle setting them apart. Names of Bishop's Counselors need not be submitted to the First Presidency for approval.—RC 1, August 15, 1922.

241Ordination of Elders. Men to be ordained Elders are to be recommended by the Ward Bishopric to the Stake Presidency. After approval by the Stake Presidency and High Council, and by the Priesthood of the stake, they are to be ordained under the direction of the Stake Presidency, preferably at a regular quorum meeting.—HI 95-96.

24112. ELDERS

241Quorum Presidencies Under Jurisdiction of Stake Presidencies. Presidents of Elders' quorums are to be chosen by the Stake Presidency with the approval of the High Council and set apart by the Stake Presidency at a quorum meeting following the sustaining vote of the quorum. Counselors are to be nominated by the quorum President, approved by the Stake Presidency and High Council, and set apart in the same manner.—PM 31.

24113. SEVENTIES

241If the first Seventy are all employed, and there is a call for more laborers, it will be the duty of the Seven Presidents of the First Seventy to call and ordain other Seventies and send them forth to labor in the vineyard until, if needs be, they set apart seven times seventy, and even until there are one hundred and forty-four thousand thus set apart for the ministry.—HC 2:221.

241 - 242Ordination of Seventies and Filling Council Vacancies. Men to be ordained Seventies are to be recommended to the First Council of the Seventy by the Stake Presidency on the forms provided for that purpose, after consultation with the Presidents of the local Quorum of Seventy, or after the sustaining vote at a Stake Priesthood meeting.

242All Elders recommended to be ordained Seventies will be interviewed by a member of the First Council or a member of the Council of the Twelve or Assistants to the Twelve, before their ordination, which must be by a member of one of these councils. Recommendations to fill vacancies in councils should be submitted to the First Council of the Seventy before any of the men considered are consulted.—June 25, 1930, The Council of the Twelve and the First Council of the Seventy.

24214. HIGH PRIESTS

242Ordination. Men to be ordained High Priests are to be recommended to the Stake Presidency, with endorsement of Seventies' or Elders' quorum presidencies. After approval by the Stake Presidency and High Council, and by the Priesthood of the stake, they are to be ordained under the direction of the Stake Presidency and presidency of the High Priests' quorum, preferably at a regular quorum meeting.

242Presidencies of High Priests' Quorums. Presidents of High Priests' quorums are to be chosen by the Stake Presidency with the approval of the High Council and, after receiving the sustaining vote of their quorum or of the stake conference, are to be set apart under the direction of the visiting Apostle or Assistant to the Twelve if he approves. Counselors are to be nominated by the quorum President and when approved by the Stake Presidency and High Council are to be voted upon and set apart.—RC 1.

24215. PATRIARCHS

242Patriarchs are chosen and ordained by the members of the Presiding Council of the Church, in accordance with the revelation assigning to the Twelve the duty of ordaining "evangelical ministers, as they shall be designated unto them by revelation."—RC 1, June 18, 1918.

242It is not the prerogative of Stake Presidencies to recommend men for the Patriarchal office.

24316. PRESIDENTS OF INDEPENDENT BRANCHES

243Presidents of independent branches are to be chosen by the Stake Presidency with the approval of the High Council, subject to the sustaining vote of the members of the branch. Presidents of stakes are authorized to set apart presidents of branches.—HI 94.

24317. HIGH COUNCILORS AND STAKE CLERKS

243High Councilors, alternate members of High Councils, and stake clerks are to be chosen by the Stake Presidency with the approval of the High Council, subject, however, to the sustaining vote of the stake conference and the approval of the visiting Apostle or Assistant under whose direction they are to be set apart.—PM 31.

243It is not necessary to submit their names, as in the case of Bishops, to the First Presidency. The members of the Twelve, or Assistants, visiting the stakes are fully authorized to officiate in all such matters.—RC 1, June 18, 1918.

24318. FIRST COUNCIL OF SEVENTY

243In filling vacancies in the First Council of the Seventy, the First Presidency of the Church makes the selection and directs the ordination. The Twelve as well as the First Council of the Seventy may be asked to make suggestions for the First Presidency to act upon as they see fit.

24319. PRESIDING BISHOPRIC

243The Presiding Bishopric is selected by the First Presidency. The counselors of the Presiding Bishop though selected by him must be approved by the First Presidency.

24320. PATRIARCH TO THE CHURCH

243The right to the office of Patriarch to the Church is inherited, but a person must be appointed and ordained by the First Presidency and sustained by the vote of the Church in order to hold the office. The office carries with it recognition as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator, and comes as a special call of the First Presidency.

24421. APOSTLES

244Apostles are chosen either by direct revelation from God or by the First Presidency, as directed by inspiration. They are ordained to their ministry by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve. They must also be approved by the people as in the case of all authorities. The Twelve as already noted may have Assistants.

24422. THE FIRST PRESIDENCY

244When the President of the Church dies or otherwise relinquishes his office, the responsibility of choosing his successor under revelation falls upon the Council of the Twelve. The senior member, if qualified, succeeds to the office. He is ordained by the Council of the Twelve, which holds all the authority vested in the Priesthood of the Church. As with all other officers of the Church, the selection must be approved by the membership of the Church. The President of the Church, when chosen, has authority to select his own counselors.

24423. MISSION PRESIDENTS, TEMPLE PRESIDENTS, AUXILIARY OFFICERS, AND OTHER GENERAL OFFICERS

244All Mission Presidents, Temple Presidents, members of general auxiliary boards and other general officers 1 are appointed under the authority of the First Presidency.

244Nominations for membership on the auxiliary boards are usually made by the presidency or superintendency of the organization and referred to the First Presidency for final action.

244The terms of office are indefinite in length, subject to termination or release at the pleasure of the Presidency.

244Stake Auxiliary Officers. Auxiliary stake workers are appointed by the Stake Presidency. The presidency or superintendency of a stake auxiliary organization may, however, present names to the Stake Presidency for consideration.

245Ward Auxiliary Officers. Ward auxiliary officers are appointed by the Ward Bishopric. Ward auxiliary officers are charged with the duty of carrying out the general auxiliary program of the Church, under the immediate direction of the Ward Bishopric and the general supervision of the stake auxiliary boards.

245All positions in the auxiliary organizations are of indefinite length, and subject to termination or release through the ordinary channels.

Footnotes

2. See Chapter 23.

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246Chapter 19

246THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST PRESIDENCY OF THE CHURCH

2461. THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH

246 - 247Wherefore it must needs be that one be appointed of the High Priesthood to preside over the Priesthood, and he shall be called President of the High Priesthood of the Church.—D&C 107:65.

247And again, the duty of the President of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole Church, and to be like unto Moses—

247Behold, here is wisdom; yea, to be a Seer, a Revelator, a Translator, and a Prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the Church.—D&C 107:91-92.

247Keys Conferred on Joseph Smith: And the keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom shall not be taken from my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., through the means I have appointed, while he liveth, inasmuch as he obeyeth mine ordinances.—D&C 64:5.

247Keys Vested in the President of the Church. The fulness of the keys of Priesthood are vested in the President of the Church. The Apostles hold all authority and keys, but cannot exercise the authority which is vested in the President, except in case where the Apostle is elevated to the Presidency. There cannot be two authorities in the Church with equal jurisdiction at the same time, although there may be two quorums holding the same Priesthood and authority.—RC 2, May 22, 1935; see also GD 145.

2472. THE PRESIDENT, AS PROPHET, SEER, AND REVELATOR

247But behold, verily, verily, I say unto thee, no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this Church excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., for he receiveth them even as Moses.—D&C 28:2; note also 21:4-5; 28:6-7; 43:1-7.

247 - 248Revelations Are to Come Through the Presidency. President Joseph Smith, Jun., addressed the assembly and said, the Melchizedek High Priesthood was no other than the Priesthood of the Son of God; that there are certain ordinances which belong to the Priesthood, from which flow certain results; and the Presidents or Presidency are over the Church; and revelations of the mind and will of God to the Church are to come through the Presidency. This is the order of heaven, and the power and privilege of this Priesthood. It is also the privilege of any officer in this Church to obtain revelations, so far as relates to his particular calling and duty in the Church.—T 111.

248The Principle of Revelation and Church Administration. The Lord told Oliver that Joseph was the man to receive revelations for the Church; he might receive revelations for himself; but those to the Church must come through Joseph Smith, or the leader. If we need revelations for our guidance, what channel should they come through? The Lord will speak to us through the head of His Church, through him who holds the Presidency. We should all understand these principles that we may not be deceived, and if revelations are given from any other source professing to guide the Church, we may know they are not from God. All of us have the privilege of receiving revelations. For the Church? By no means; we cannot receive all that are necessary for the performance of our duties. We have here a stake of Zion, and a Presidency of this Stake. Can anybody receive revelations for the government of this Stake? Certainly not. If any person other than the Presidency should profess to receive revelations for its government, would you consider them genuine revelations? If so, you would be mistaken. We are entitled to the Holy Spirit to help us in discharge of our duties and to teach us all that is necessary for our guidance. The Bishop is entitled to the spirit of revelation to teach him his duties, and when guided by that spirit he will never come in collision with those who preside over him.—JD 19:163, Charles C. Rich.

2483. QUALIFICATION OF THE PRESIDENT

248 - 249To be eligible to the Presidency of the Church a man must be an Apostle, called of God, and approved by his brethren. On the death of the President of the Church the senior apostle automatically becomes the presiding officer of the Church. On this question President John Taylor has said:

249"I occupied the senior position in the quorum, and occupying that position, which was thoroughly understood by the Quorum of the Twelve, on the death of President Young, as the Twelve assumed the presidency, and I was their president, it placed me in a position of president of the Church, or, as expressed in our conference meeting: 'As president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as one of the Twelve Apostles, and of the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.' In this manner, also, was President Brigham Young sustained, at the general conference held in Nauvoo, in the October following the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We find the following recorded in the minutes of the conference:

249" 'Elder W. W. Phelps moved that we uphold Brigham Young, the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, as one of the Twelve, and First Presidency of the Church.'

249"Thus I stood in the same position that President Young did when called to occupy the same place at the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith." The Gospel Kingdom, p. 192.

2494. CHOOSING A PRESIDENT

249See chapter 18, section 22.

249Steps in Choosing a President. Three important steps are necessary in choosing a President and his Counselors, namely: (1) the selection and appointment; (2) the ordination; (3) the confirmation by the vote of the people.

249It is the duty of the Twelve also, to ordain and set in order all other officers of the Church, (D&C 107:24). Therefore, when the First Presidency is dissolved by death or by removal of the President, the responsibility of selecting another devolves upon the Twelve; hence the initiative or nominating power in such cases belongs always with that quorum.

250The First Presidency and the Twelve are presented before all the Church in all parts of the world, for acceptance or rejection, twice every year in the several conferences; and any member of the Church has a perfect right to arise and testify, 1 if he knows anything objectionable against these persons. The above rule applies to all other officers, whether at home or abroad.—MS 13:339, John Taylor.

250A man may be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and it may have nothing to do with his being the President of the Church. Suffice it to say, that Joseph was the President of the Church, as long as he lived. He always filled that responsible station by the voice of the people. Can you find any revelation appointing him the President of the Church? The keys of the Priesthood were committed to Joseph, to build up the Kingdom of God on the earth, and were not to be taken from him in time or in eternity, but when he was called to preside over the Church, it was by the voice of the people; though he held the keys of the Priesthood, independent of their voice.—D 138.

2505. SUCCESSION IN THE PRESIDENCY 2

250President Young Comments. 3 You are now without a Prophet present with you in the flesh to guide you; but you are not without Apostles, who hold the keys of power, to seal on earth that which shall be sealed in heaven, and to preside over all the affairs of the Church in all the world; being still under the direction of the same God, and being dictated by the same spirit, having the same manifestations of the Holy Ghost to dictate all the affairs of the Church in all the world, to build up the kingdom upon the foundation that the Prophet Joseph has laid, who still holds the keys of this last dispensation, and will hold them to all eternity, as a King and Priest unto the Most High God, ministering in heaven, on earth, or among the spirits of the departed dead, as seemeth good to him who sent him.

251Let no man presume for a moment that his place will be filled by another; for, remember he stands in his own place, and always will; and the Twelve Apostles of this dispensation stand in their own place, and always will, both in time and in eternity, to minister, preside, and regulate the affairs of the whole Church.—MS 5:93, Brigham Young.

251Testimony of Orson Hyde. I will give you my testimony. In one particular place, in the presence of about sixty men, he (Joseph Smith) said, "My work is about done; I am going to step aside awhile. I am going to rest from my labors; for I have borne the burthen and heat of the day, and now I am going to step aside and rest a little. And I roll the burthen off my shoulders on the shoulders of the Twelve Apostles. Now," said he, "round up your shoulders and bear off this Kingdom."—JD 13:180.

251Let the Saints therefore rejoice and be glad, having full confidence in God, and that he will accomplish triumphantly His great designs in relation to the just.—MS 5:12.

251Testimony of Heber C. Kimball. As to the power and authority invested in Brother Brigham, do I doubt it? Have I the least hesitation as to his calling as the President of this Church? No, no more than I have that God sits upon His throne. He has the same authority that Brother Joseph had. That authority was in the Twelve, and since Brother Joseph stepped behind the veil, Brother Brigham is his lawful successor. I bear testimony of what Brother Joseph said on the stand at Nauvoo, and I presume hundreds here can bear witness of the same. Said he, "These men that are set here behind me on this stand, I have conferred upon them all the power, Priesthood, and authority that God ever conferred upon me." There are hundreds present this day who heard him utter words to that effect, more than once.

251 - 252The Twelve had then received their endowments. Brother Joseph gave them the endowments, and keys and power were placed upon them by him, even as they were placed upon him by Peter, James, and John, who ordained him. That is true, gentlemen, because they held the Apostleship last, and had authority to confer it upon him or any whom the Father had chosen. Brother Joseph called and ordained the Twelve Apostles of the last days, and placed that power upon them.—JD 1:206.

252Wilford Woodruff's Testimony in 1898. The last speech that Joseph Smith ever made to the Quorum of the Apostles was in a building in Nauvoo, and it was such a speech as I never heard from mortal man before or since. He was clothed upon with the Spirit and power of God. His face was clear as amber. The room was filled as with consuming fire. He stood three hours upon his feet. Said he: "You Apostles of the Lamb of God have been chosen to carry out the purposes of the Lord on the earth. Now, I have received, as the Prophet, Seer and Revelator, standing at the head of this dispensation, every key, every ordinance, every principle and every Priesthood that belongs to the last dispensation and the fulness of times. And I have sealed all these things upon your head. Now, you Apostles, if you do not rise up and bear off this kingdom, as I have given it to you, you will be damned."

252I am the only witness left on earth that can bear record of this, and I am thankful that I have lived to see the day in which I stand. I am thankful to see the sons of these Prophets and Apostles holding the Holy Priesthood in our day and generation.—CR, 1898, 89.

252Testimony of Parley P. Pratt. He (Joseph Smith) proceeded to confer on Elder Young, the President of the Twelve, the keys of the sealing power, as conferred in the last days by the spirit and power of Elijah, in order to seal the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth should be smitten with a curse.—MS 5:151.

2526. TRIAL OF A PRESIDENT

252 - 253And inasmuch as a President of the High Priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the Church 4 who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood; And their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him.

253Thus, none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God, that all things may be done in order and in solemnity before Him, according to truth and righteousness.—D&C 107:82-84.

253The Church officers, in the exercise of their functions, are answerable to the Church. No officer, however exalted his position, is exempt from this law. All decisions, rulings, and conduct of officials are subject to investigation, correction, revision, and final rejection by the general assembly 5 of the Priesthood of the Church, its final court of appeal. Even the President, its highest officer, is subject to these laws, and special provision is made for his trial, and if necessary, his deposition. Where these facts exist in any administration of government, it cannot be justly classed as a tyranny, nor considered a menace to free institutions.—RQA, 1930, 108-109.

253Three counselors to President Joseph Smith were rejected by the Church and afterwards tried and excommunicated on the charge of apostasy and treachery; namely, Frederick G. Williams, March 17, 1839; William Law, April 18, 1844; and Sidney Rigdon, September 8, 1844.—CG 137.

253If condemned by such a court, the extreme penalty would be severance from the Church; and a less penalty might be the withdrawal of the keys, rights and powers of the Presidency.—CG 138.

2537. THE FIRST PRESIDENCY

253Quorum of the First Presidency. The First Presidency consists of three presiding High Priests, a President and two counselors, who supervise the work of the whole Church, in all matters of policy, organization and administration. No part of the work of the Church is beyond their authority. With the death of the President, the First Presidency becomes disorganized.—RT 104.

2548. ORGANIZATION OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY IN THIS DISPENSATION

254It was in November, 1832, that a First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood was announced. (D&C 68:15.) But it was not until March of the following year that Joseph Smith was called by revelation to this Presidency, (D&C 81:1-3.) A month or so later (April 26, 1832), at a conference held in Missouri, he was acknowledged President of the High Priesthood of the Church.

254Sometime in March, 1832, Frederick G. Williams was designated by revelation (D&C 81:1) to be a counselor to Joseph Smith; but it was nearly a year thereafter, March 18, 1833, when a Council of the First Presidency was fully organized, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams being set apart as Joseph's counselors. It will thus be seen that it was nearly three years from the organization of the Church before the highest Council was fully developed and completed.—CG 131.

254Joseph Smith himself organized every endowment in our Church and revealed the same to the Church, and he lived to receive every key to the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods from the hands of men who held them while in the flesh, and who hold them in eternity.—JD 23:131, Wilford Woodruff.

2549. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY

254For duties of the President see Doctrine and Covenants, 107:8, 9, 18, 19, 64, 67, 78, 83, 91, 92; 112:30-33; 124:125; also History of the Church, Vol. 1, pages 477-479.

254 - 255The Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to the Church, holds, by virtue of his office, the authority to give to the people the word and will of the Lord. "For I have given him (Joseph Smith) the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed, until I shall appoint another in his stead." (D&C 28:7.) The President of the Church also holds the keys of the sealing power—this authority is inherent in that office. "And I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this (the sealing) power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time, on whom this power and the keys of this Priesthood are conferred." (D&C 132:7.) But this sealing power may be and is delegated to others. Thus, the presidents of the various temples hold, by appointment, the sealing power, each in his own place, and this power is also delegated to others. There illustrations will show the distinction between the inherent authority of the Priesthood, and that which is delegated.—PM 18-19.

255Declarations of the Council of Twelve Relating to the First Presidency. The supreme governing power of the Church is vested in the President of the Church with his counselors when the Presidency is organized; they in turn being chiefly supported by the Council of the Twelve. The First Presidency preside over all councils, all quorums, and all organizations of the Church, with supreme appointing power and the power of nomination. These powers of appointment, nomination and presiding may be, by the First Presidency, delegated to others whom they may choose and whom the people sustain to represent the Presidency in the government of the Church. The First Presidency are the living oracles of God and the supreme adjudicators and interpreters of the law of the Church.—RC 1, December 9, 1926.

255President Joseph F. Smith's Declaration Concerning His Method of Administration. I propose that my Counselors and fellow Presidents in the First Presidency shall share with me in the responsibility of every act which I shall perform in this capacity. I do not propose to take the reins in my own hands to do as I please; but I propose to do as my brethren and I agree upon, and as the Spirit of the Lord manifests to us.—GD 176.

25510. FIRST PRESIDENCY NOT NECESSARILY APOSTLES 6

255 - 256The First Presidency hold by virtue of their rights as Presidents of the Church all the keys and all the authority that pertains to the Melchizedek Priesthood, which comprehends and comprises all of the appendages to that Priesthood, the Lesser Priesthood, and all the offices in the Priesthood from first to last, and from the least to the greatest.—GD 173.

256The First Presidency Retain Their Apostleships If So Ordained. Although Brother Willard Richards, Heber C. Kimball, and myself are out of the Quorum of the Twelve, our Apostleship has not been taken from us. I preached considerable upon this subject in Nauvoo, to give the people the understanding of the different callings of men.—D 139.

25611. CHURCH CORPORATIONS

256For the effective administration of the affairs of the Church, for lightening the burden placed upon the Presidency, and providing against any breaks due to the death of official administrative officers, a number of corporate bodies have been organized under the laws of the land.

2561. The Corporation of the President. A corporation sole which holds, or may hold, title to all properties of the Church, but which in practice deals chiefly with tax free properties in and about the headquarters of the Church.

2562. The Corporation of the Presiding Bishopric. This corporation sole holds title mainly to Church property beyond Church headquarters, especially in the mission fields.

2563. The Corporation of the Stake President. A corporation sole. Each Stake President is thus incorporated. It holds title, in the main, to stake property.

2564. The Corporation of the Ward Bishop. A corporation sole. Each ward Bishop is thus incorporated and the corporation holds title, in the main, to the ward property.

2565. Zion's Securities Corporation. This corporation which is owned by the corporation of the President, holds title to and operates such properties as are subject to taxation, i.e., property indirectly used for Church purposes.

256 - 2576. Cooperative Security Corporation. The finance sub-committee of the General Welfare committee has been incorporated under this name and is duly qualified to function in each stake as it becomes necessary.

25712. GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE CHURCH

257Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, July 18, 1838, making known the disposition of the properties tithed as named in the preceding revelation, Section 119.

257"Verily, thus saith the Lord, the time is now come, that it shall be disposed of by a Council, composed of the First Presidency of my Church, and of the Bishop and his council, and by my High Council; and by mine own voice unto them, saith the Lord. Even so. Amen."—D&C 120.

257That is, the First Presidency, the Presiding Bishopric, and the Council of the Twelve Apostles constitute the General Council of the Church, for the purpose set forth in the revelation.

25713. MEETINGS OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY

257The First Presidency hold a regular meeting with the Twelve every Thursday.

257Every Tuesday, the First Presidency meet with the Presiding Bishopric.

257At these meetings much of the business of the Church is surveyed and approved.

Footnotes

3. In the proper Church courts.

4. See also B. H. Robert's book bearing the same title.

5. Spoken after the death of Joseph Smith.

6. The Presiding Bishopric.

7. General Conference of the Priesthood of the Church.

8. See Chapter 18, Section 21 in addition.

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258Chapter 20

258THE APOSTLESHIP AND THE COUNCIL OF THE TWELVE

2581. THE APOSTLESHIP

258The Apostleship to Endure. How often we have heard it proclaimed that the keys of the Apostleship, which had been committed to men on the earth, together with all the keys of the Holy Endowments, and every blessing which the Lord has provided and promised to men in the flesh, are placed within our reach through the keys of this Priesthood, and that this Apostleship will continue upon the earth until it has accomplished that which the Lord has ordained and appointed, and until Israel shall be gathered, and the people be prepared for His second coming, and that, if one passes beyond the veil, another follows in His footsteps, and if persecution rage, and many witnesses of the Lord are slain, still He will preserve witnesses upon the earth, with the keys of that ministry and Apostleship to bear off the kingdom triumphantly, and fulfill and accomplish all that the Lord has predicted.—JD 19:102, 103. Erastus Snow.

258The Apostleship Comprehends the Keys of the Priesthood. 1 Joseph was ordained an Apostle—that you can read and understand. After he was ordained to this office, then he had the right to organize and build up the Kingdom of God, for he had committed unto him the keys of the Priesthood which is after the order of Melchizedek—the High Priesthood, which is after the order of the Son of God. And this, remember, by being ordained an Apostle.

258 - 259Could he have built up the Kingdom of God without first being an Apostle? No. he never could. The keys of the eternal Priesthood, which is after the order of the Son of God, is comprehended by being an Apostle. All the Priesthood, all the keys, all the gifts, all the endowments, and everything preparatory to entering back into the presence of the Father and of the Son, is composed of, circumscribed by, or I might say incorporated within the circumference of the Apostleship. —MS 15:489, Brigham Young.

259The Apostleship, whenever it is upon the earth, possesses the right and privilege of constant communion with the Savior of the world, and thereby knows how to mete out his salvation to all men; and there is no other office, independent of this, that holds this right, or can exercise this power.—MS 14:690.

259The High Priesthood, and the Lesser Priesthood, and all the Priesthood there is, is combined, centered in, composed of, and is circumscribed by the Apostleship.—MS 15:489, Brigham Young.

2592. THE QUORUM OF TWELVE APOSTLES

259Twelve men holding the Apostleship constitute the Council or Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and there is but one such quorum in the Church. This body is also called a Traveling Presiding High Council, from the nature of some of the duties it has to perform; but more frequently it is spoken of as "the Twelve."—CG 140: see D&C 107:33, 35; 84:63.

259Twelve men holding the Apostleship, properly organized, constitute the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, also designated The Council of the Twelve. These the Lord has named as the Twelve Traveling Councilors; they form the Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate under the direction of the First Presidency in all parts of the world. They constitute a quorum whose unanimous decisions are equally binding in power and authority with those of the First Presidency of the Church. When the First Presidency is disorganized through the death or disability of the President, the directing authority in government reverts at once to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, by whom the nomination to the Presidency is made.—AF 210.

259 - 260The President of the Council. This Council (of Twelve) has a President, who is the senior member, that is, the one longest ordained. The ranking of office in the Council is based on priority of ordination and accepted membership in the Quorum, and not upon age. It is the duty of the President to preside over the Council, to be their leader, and to direct their labors under the direction of the First Presidency. It is customary for this Quorum to sit in council with the First Presidency and deliberate upon the affairs of the Church.—CG 140.

2603. ORGANIZATION OF THE TWELVE IN THIS DISPENSATION

260In 1829, even before the Church was organized, it was pointed out 2 there should be a Council of Twelve Apostles. It was not until February 14, 1835, that this important quorum was organized. And following close upon this (February 28, 1835) was the organization of the First Quorum of Seventy.

260From the day of their organization to the present, the Twelve have taken an active part in the affairs of the Church. Gradually, this body, under the direction of and in connection with the First Presidency, have performed many of the important duties of the Church. At a special conference held in Nauvoo, August 16, 1841, the Prophet Joseph said the time had come when the Twelve should be called to stand in their proper place next to the First Presidency; and he thereupon turned over to their management and direction many of the affairs of the Kingdom that had long weighed heavily upon his shoulders.—CG 139.

260Brigham Young's Record of the Calling of the Twelve. In the year 1834, a company started for Kirtland to redeem the land of Zion. Brother Heber C. Kimball and my brother Joseph were in that camp. There had not then been ordained any Twelve Apostles, nor any Seventies, although there was a revelation pertaining to the Apostles and Seventies. There were High Priests, but no High Priests' Quorum. I am relating this as a little matter of history that will no doubt be interesting to those who were not there.

261After we returned from Missouri, my brother Joseph Young and myself had been singing after preaching in a meeting; and when the meeting was dismissed, Brother Joseph Smith said, "Come, go down to my house with me." He then opened the subject of the Twelve and Seventies for the first time I ever thought of it. He said, "Brethren, I am going to call out Twelve Apostles, and select a Quorum of Seventies from those who have been up to Zion, out of the camp boys." In 1835 the last of January or February, or about that time, we held our meetings from day to day, and Brother Joseph called out Twelve Apostles at that time.—D 141.

2614. HOW APOSTLES ARE CHOSEN

261Apostles are chosen either by direct revelation from God, or by the First Presidency, as directed by inspiration. They are ordained to their ministry by the First Presidency. They must also be approved by the people, as in the case of all authorities.

261The members of the first Council were, however, selected by Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer (D&C 18:9), and Martin Harris, by command of the Lord. Authority was given to choose Twelve Apostles even before the Church was organized; but it was not till February 14, 1835, as stated above, that the organization was perfected. The first Twelve were ordained by Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, and the ordination confirmed by the laying on of hands by Joseph Smith and his counselors.—CG 143.

2615. THE TWELVE NEXT TO THE FIRST PRESIDENCY

261The Twelve Traveling Councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the Church in the duties of their calling. And they form a quorum, equal in authority and power to the three Presidents previously mentioned.—D&C 107:23-24.

261 - 262President Smith next proceeded to explain the duty of the Twelve, and their authority, which is next to the present Presidency, and that the arrangement of the assembly in this place, on the 15th instant, in placing the High Councils of Kirtland next the Presidency, was because the business to be transacted, was business relating to that body in particular, which was to fill the several quorums in Kirtland, not because they were first in office, and that the arrangements were the most judicious that could be made on the occasion; also the Twelve are not subject to any other than the First Presidency, viz., "myself," said the Prophet, "Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, who are now my Counselors, and where I am not, there is no First Presidency over the Twelve."—T 105.

262I then called upon the quorums and congregation of Saints to acknowledge the Twelve Apostles, who were present, as Prophets, Seers, Revelators, and special witnesses to all the nations of the earth, holding the keys of the Kingdom, to unlock it, or cause it to be done, among them, and uphold them by their prayers, which they assented to by rising.—HC 2:417, March 27, 1836, Joseph Smith.

262President Joseph Smith now arriving, proceeded to state to the conference at considerable length, the object of their present meeting, and, in addition to what President Young had stated in the morning, said that the time had come when the Twelve should be called upon to stand in their place next to the First Presidency, and attend to the settling of immigrants and the business of the Church in the stakes, and assist to bear off the Kingdom victoriously to the nations, and as they had been faithful, and had borne the burden in the heat of the day, that it was right that they should have an opportunity of providing something for themselves and families, and at the same time relieve him, so that he might attend to the business of translating.

262Moved, seconded and carried, that the conference approve of the instructions of President Smith in relation to the Twelve, and that they proceed accordingly to attend to the duties of their office.—HC 4:403, Aug. 16, 1841, Joseph Smith.

2636. CALLING AND POWERS OF THE APOSTLES

263President (Joseph) Smith proposed the following question: What importance is there attached to the calling of the Twelve Apostles, different from the other callings or officers of the Church?

263After the question was discussed by Councilors Patten, Young, Smith, and McLellin, President Joseph Smith, Jun., gave the following decision:

263They are the Twelve Apostles, who are called to the office of the Traveling High Council, who are to preside over the churches of the Saints, among the Gentiles, where there is no presidency established; and they are to travel and preach among the Gentiles, until the Lord shall command them to go to the Jews. They are to hold the keys of this ministry, to unlock the door of the Kingdom of heaven unto all nations, and to preach the Gospel to every creature. This is the power, authority, and virtue of their Apostleship.—T 74.

263The calling of an Apostle is to build up the Kingdom of God in all the world; it is the Apostle that holds the keys of this power, and nobody else. If an Apostle magnifies his calling, he is the word of the Lord to His people all the time.—D 139.

263It is the duty and privilege of the Twelve Apostles to have the Holy Ghost for their constant companion, and live always in the Spirit of Revelation, to know their duty and understand their calling; this is also the duty and privilege of the First Presidency of the Church.—D 139.

263Duty of the Twelve to Ordain Patriarchs. "It is the duty of the Twelve, in large branches of the Church, to ordain evangelical ministers, as they shall be designated to them by revelation." (D&C 107:39.) Evangelical ministers here mentioned evidently signify Patriarchs, as intimated in verses 40 to 57, same section.

263 - 264I have tried to show you, brethren, as briefly as possible, the order of the Priesthood. When a man is ordained to be an Apostle, his Priesthood is without beginning of days or end of life, like the Priesthood of Melchizedek, for it was his Priesthood that was spoken of in this language and not the man.—D 141.

264An Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ has the keys of the Holy Priesthood, and the power thereof is sealed upon his head, and by this he is authorized to proclaim the truth to the people, and if they receive it, well; if not, the sin be upon their own heads.—D 136.

264The Twelve as a Judicial Body. The Twelve may sit as a judicial body and try cases properly within their jurisdiction, and from their unanimous decision there can be no appeal. (D&C 112:30, 31; 107:27.) In case of an unrighteous decision, an appeal "may be brought before a general assembly of the several quorums, which constitute the spiritual authorities of the Church, otherwise there can be no appeal from their decision." (D&C 107:32.)—CG 143.

264The Twelve Direct Affairs of the Church in all the World. President Young remarked, that when the Twelve are abroad in any nation, they direct the affairs of the Church there, the same as I do here. The enquiry may be made, can Lorenzo Snow direct anywhere but in Italy? Yes—the Twelve direct in all the world, and send Elders where they please, and as they deem wisdom. We have appointed Lorenzo and Erastus Snow, to certain missions, have they any right to go anywhere else? Yes; I wish they would open the door to every nation on the earth, and if an Apostle sees any one professing to be an Elder in the Church and bringing disgrace on the Priesthood, he has authority to silence him, demand his license and cut him off from the Church.—MS 12:133.

264 - 265The Twelve as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. Every man who is ordained to the fulness of Apostleship, has the power and the authority to lead and guide the people of God wherever he is called upon to do it, and the responsibility rests upon him. But there is a difference, as was explained by Brother Pratt, that arises in some instances from seniority in age, in other instances from seniority in ordination. And while it is the right of all the Twelve Apostles to receive revelation, and for each one to be a Prophet, to be a Seer, to be a Revelator, and to hold the keys in the fulness, it is only the right of one man at a time to exercise that power in relation to the whole people, and to give revelation and counsel, and direct the affairs of the Church—of course, always acting in conjunction with his fellow-servants. And while we say that the Twelve Apostles have the right to govern, that the Twelve have the authority, that the Twelve Apostles are the men who preside—when we say this, we do not mean that every one of the Twelve is going to give revelation to this great people, that every one of the Twelve has the right to counsel and dictate and regulate the affairs of the Church as emergencies may arise, independent of the rest.—JD 19:33, George Q. Cannon.

265Power of the Twelve to Act in the Presidency. Any one of them, should an emergency arise, can act as President of the Church, with all the powers, with all the authority, with all the keys, and with every endowment necessary to obtain revelation from God, and to lead and guide this people in the path that leads to the celestial glory; but there is only one man at a time who can hold the keys, who can dictate, who can guide, who can give revelation to the Church. The rest must acquiesce in his action, the rest must be governed by his counsels, the rest must receive his doctrines.—JD 19:234, George Q. Cannon.

265 - 266Relation of the Twelve to High Councils. President Joseph Smith stated that the Twelve will have no right to go into Zion, or any of the stakes, and there undertake to regulate the affairs thereof, where there is a standing high council; but it is their duty to go abroad and regulate all matters relative to the different branches of the Church. When the Twelve are together, or a quorum of them, in any church, they will have authority to act independently, and make decisions, and those decisions will be valid. But where there is not a quorum, they will have to do business by the voice of the Church. No standing High Council has authority to go into the churches abroad, and regulate the matters thereof, for this belongs to the Twelve. No standing High Council will ever be established only in Zion, or one of her stakes. When the Twelve pass a decision, it is in the name of the Church, therefore it is valid.—T 74.

266I decided that the High Council had nothing to do with the Twelve, or the decisions of the Twelve. But if the Twelve erred they were accountable only to the General Council of the authorities of the whole Church, according to the revelations.—HC 2:285, Sept. 26, 1835, Joseph Smith.

2667. THE COUNCIL OF TWELVE AND CHURCH ADMINISTRATION: COMMITTEE ORGANIZATION

266For purposes of effectively dealing with the business which comes before it, the Council of the Twelve is organized into a number of standing committees, including committees on Priesthood, Mission Presidents, Radio and Missionary Literature, Stake Conferences, and related activities. As special needs arise and as directed by revelation, special committees are formed in order to expedite business before the Council.

266The Twelve meet every Thursday, first in a quorum meeting, then in connection with the First Presidency. The Twelve also meet as a quorum in special testimony meeting every three months.

2668. TRIAL OF APOSTLES

266An Apostle may be tried for transgressions before any one of the three superior Councils or Courts of the Church; namely, a Court or Council composed of the First Presidency and twelve High Priests; a Court composed of the Presiding Bishopric and twelve High Priests; or a Court composed of the Council of the Twelve Apostles.—CG 144.

2669. MEETINGS AND RECORDS OF APOSTLES: ORIGINAL INSTRUCTIONS OF THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH

266Since the Twelve are now chosen, I wish to tell them a course which they may pursue, and be benefited thereafter, in a point of light of which they are not now aware.

267If they will, every time they assemble, appoint a person to preside over them during the meeting, and one or more to keep a record of their proceedings, and on the decision of every question or item, be it what it may, let such decision be written, and such decision will forever remain upon record, and appear an item of covenant or doctrine. An item thus decided may appear, at the time, of little or no worth, but should it be published, and one of you lay hands on it after, you will find it of infinite worth, not only to your brethren, but it will be a feast to your own souls.—T 73.

267Brother Joseph then addressed the Twelve, and said that in all our counsels, especially while on trial of anyone, we should see and observe all things appertaining to the subject, and discern the spirit by which either party was governed. We should be in a situation to understand every spirit and judge righteous judgment and not be asleep. We should keep order and not let the council be imposed upon by unruly conduct. The Saints need not think because I am familiar with them and am playful and cheerful, that I am ignorant of what is going on. Iniquity of any kind cannot be sustained in the Church, and it will not fare well where I am; for I am determined while I do lead the Church, to lead it right.—HC 5:411, May 27, 1843.

267Here is another important item. If you assemble from time to time, and proceed to discuss important questions, and pass decisions upon the same, and fail to note them down, by and by you will be driven to straits from which you will not be able to extricate yourselves, because you may be in a situation not to bring your faith to bear with sufficient perfection or power to obtain the desired information; or, perhaps, for neglecting to write these things when God had revealed them, not esteeming them of sufficient worth, the Spirit may withdraw, and God may be angry; and there is, or was a vast knowledge, of infinite importance, which is now lost. What was the cause of this? It came in consequence of slothfulness, or a neglect to appoint a man to occupy a few moments in writing all these decisions.

267 - 268Here let me prophesy: The time will come when, if you neglect to do this thing, you will fall by the hands of unrighteous men. Were you to be brought before the authorities, and be accused of any crime or misdemeanor, and be as innocent as the angels of God, unless you can prove yourselves to have been somewhere else, your enemies will prevail against you; but if you can bring twelve men to testify that you were in a certain place, at that time, you will escape their hands. Now, if you will be careful to keep minutes of these things, as I have said, it will be one of the most important records ever seen; for all such decisions will ever after remain as items of doctrine and covenants.—T 73.

268When the Twelve or any other witnesses stand before the congregations of the earth, and they preach in the power and demonstration of the Spirit of God, and the people are astonished and confounded at the doctrine, and say, "That man has preached a powerful discourse, a great sermon," then let that man or those men take care that they do not ascribe the glory unto themselves, but be careful that they are humble, and ascribe the praise and glory to God and the Lamb; for it is by the power of the Holy Priesthood and the Holy Ghost that they have power thus to speak. What art thou, O man, but dust? And from whom receivest thou thy power and blessings, but from God?—T 155.

268Then, O ye Twelve; notice this Key, and be wise for Christ's sake, and your own soul's sake. Ye are not sent out to be taught, but to teach. Let every word be seasoned with grace. Be vigilant; be sober. It is a day of warning, and not of many words. Act honestly before God and man. Beware of Gentile sophistry; such as bowing and scraping unto men in whom you have no confidence. Be honest, open, and frank in all your intercourse with mankind.—T 156.

268The Twelve meet weekly as a quorum to transact business. They also hold a special testimony meeting every three months. At stated intervals they meet with the Assistants and the First Council of Seventy.

Footnotes

1. For the delegation of these keys for general administrative purposes by the First Presidency, see Section 1 of the previous chapter.

2. D&C 18:9, 26-32, (June, 1829.)

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269Chapter 21

269THE PATRIARCH TO THE CHURCH: OFFICE AND FUNCTIONS

2691. THE OFFICE DEFINED

269An Evangelist is a Patriarch, even the oldest man of the blood of Joseph or of the seed of Abraham. Where-ever the Church of Christ is established in the earth, there should be a Patriarch for the benefit of the posterity of the Saints, as it was with Jacob in giving his patriarchal blessing unto his sons, etc.—T 151.

269Literally, Patriarch means head of a family or tribe; as Abraham (Hebrews 7:4); the twelve sons of Jacob (Acts 7:8) and David, (Acts 2:29). And, for that matter, every man is a Patriarch who is the natural father or head of a family, if his children have been born to him under the bond of the Holy Priesthood. Therefore, each head of a properly organized family, being a Patriarch, may in his own right bless his posterity. But the position of a Patriarch in or to the Church, and that of a father at the head of his family, are quite different. One holding the Patriarchal office does not stand as the head of any family (save his own) or as the head of the Church, or any branch thereof, but acts primarily as proxy for the fatherless and for those whose nearest male ancestors are not in the Church. However, any other persons, even though not of this class, who desire patriarchal blessings, may receive them under the hands of one specially ordained to this calling. In fact, patriarchal blessings, other than those given by the father, are not only legal and right but very desirable.—CG 154.

2692. THE JURISDICTION OF THE PATRIARCH TO THE CHURCH

269On appointment see Doctrine and Covenants 124:91-93, 96, 124; 107:40.

269For his powers and duties see Doctrine and Covenants 124:91-93.

270There is one Patriarch to the Church, whereas there are one or more Patriarchs in each of the stakes of Zion. Stake Patriarchs may also bless those from missions or from other stakes under certain conditions. The Patriarch to the Church has the authority to pronounce blessings upon the heads of members of the Church anywhere. The selection of the Patriarch to the Church must be made by the First Presidency, and is contingent upon the faith and worthiness of the candidate. "It is the duty of the Twelve, in all large branches of the Church, to ordain evangelical ministers, as they shall be designated unto them by revelation." (D&C 107:39.)—PC 155.

270The jurisdiction of the Patriarch to the Church and his power to bless, extends throughout the Church. His special duty is to bestow patriarchal blessings, but being a High Priest, he has authority, by virtue of his ordination, to administer in the other ordinances when called upon. His office is sometimes known as the evangelical office. Other evangelists or patriarchs are ordained by the Twelve in the stakes of Zion, each for service with his home stake, as it is designated to them by revelation from time to time. But the Patriarch to the Church holds his office by virtue of inheritance. (See DC 107:40)—CSQP 24, 1909.

2703. RELATION OF PATRIARCH TO THE CHURCH TO OTHER PATRIARCHS

270The Patriarchs of the Church possess sealing and blessing powers expressed only in formal patriarchal blessings.—RT 105.

2704. CERTIFICATIONS OF WORTHINESS NECESSARY FOR PATRIARCHAL BLESSINGS

270 - 271Recommendations for patriarchal blessings given to people who desire to go to the Patriarch to the Church for blessings, should bear the endorsement of the Stake President as well as that of the Bishop. When members go to their Stake Patriarchs for their blessings, a recommendation signed by the Bishop is sufficient.

271Members of missions who desire patriarchal blessings must present recommends signed by the Branch President and the Mission President.

271People should honor their Stake Patriarchs by applying to the latter for their patriarchal blessings, instead of going out of their stake to receive blessings at the hands of the Patriarch to the Church.—RC 2, July 23, 1937.

2715. TRIAL OF A PATRIARCH

271In case of transgression or recreancy to duty, a Patriarch may be called to account by the First Presidency, or by a council authorized by them.—CG 156.

2716. THE NATURE OF THE PATRIARCHAL OFFICE

271The order of this Priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightfully belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made (D&C 107:40. See also verses 41 and 57). Notwithstanding the fact that the right to the office is inherited, a person, in order to hold it, must be appointed and ordained by the First Presidency and then sustained by the vote of the Church. (See DC 124:91-96; CG 155. See also section 1 of this same chapter.)

2717. CALL OF HYRUM SMITH

271And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed, as a counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right; That from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people, That whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses shall be cursed; that whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

272And from this time forth I appoint unto him that he may be a Prophet, and a Seer, and a Revelator unto my Church, as well as my servant Joseph; that he may act in concert also with my servant Joseph; and that he shall receive counsel from my servant Joseph, who shall show unto him the keys whereby he may ask and receive, and be crowned with the same blessings, and glory, and honor, and Priesthood, and gifts of the Priesthood, that once were put upon him that was my servant Oliver Cowdery.

272That my servant Hyrum may bear record of the things which I shall show unto him, that his name may be had in honorable remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever. 1D&C 124:91-96.

2728. EARLY HISTORY OF PATRIARCHS

272Read Doctrine and Covenants 107:39-57.

Footnotes

1. Note the three separate appointments: (1) to the office of Patriarch; (2) to be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator; and (3) to hold the office once held by Oliver Cowdery.

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273Chapter 22

273THE FIRST COUNCIL OF SEVENTY 1

2731. THE FIRST COUNCIL OF SEVENTY DEFINED

273The activities of the quorums of Seventy, the missionary quorums of the Church, are directed by the Seven Presidents of the First Quorum. This Council labors under the direction of the Twelve. If the First Presidency and the quorum of the Twelve were disorganized, simultaneously, the first quorum of Seventy would become the presiding quorum until full reorganization were effected.—D&C 107:26; RT 105.

273And it is according to the vision showing the order of the Seventy that they should have Seven Presidents to preside over them, chosen out of the number of the Seventy; And the seventh president of these presidents is to preside over the six; And these Seven Presidents are to choose other seventy besides the first seventy to whom they belong, and are to preside over them; And also other seventy, until seven times seventy, if the labor in the vineyard of necessity requires it.

273And these Seventy are to be traveling ministers unto the Gentiles first, and also unto the Jews.—D&C 107:93-97.

273The Seventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Twelve or the Traveling High Council, in building up the Church and regulating all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and then to the Jews.—D&C 107:34.

273The First Quorum of Seventies. The first Quorum of Seventies, where are they? Seven of them are here as First Presidents of the Seventies, and sixty-three of them now stand at the head of different Quorums of Seventies. Sixty-three of them have been made Presidents over Quorums. It works very differently to what it does in other Quorums in the Church. That leaves the first seven men, apparently isolated, over the body of the First Seventy.

274The Quorum they were called to preside over has been taken and made Presidents of other Quorums; consequently, there are only seven men now belonging to the first Quorum. When the Seven Presidents over the first Quorum wish to call their Quorum together, they call the Presidents of the various Quorums together, and that is virtually 2 their Quorum. There are now Seven Presidents to transact business, to guide, dictate, and direct the Presidents of all the Seventies, and to call and ordain other Quorums of Seventies. This virtually 3 makes them the Presidents of all the Seventies. What is their true position in the Kingdom of God? They are the First Seven Presidents of all the Seventies.—CR 31, April, 1861, Brigham Young.

2742. SELECTION OF FIRST COUNCIL OF SEVENTY

274When vacancies are to be filled in the Presidency of the First Council of the Seventy, men are selected by the First Presidency of the Church, and ordained under their direction. The Twelve, however, as well as the First Council of the Seventy, are frequently asked to make suggestions, and then the First Presidency of the Church choose from the names suggested, or do otherwise as they may deem proper.—CG 149.

2743. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE FIRST QUORUM OF SEVENTY

274 - 275The First Quorum of Seventies, when organized, form a body whose unanimous decisions would be equally binding with those of the Twelve Apostles on matters properly brought before the Seventy for their official action. Many quorums of seventies may be required in the work of the Church. Each quorum is presided over by seven presidents. The Seven Presidents of the First Quorum of Seventies, however, preside over all the other quorums and their presidents.—AF 211.

275In the exercise of... presidency and supervision of the Seventies of the Church the First Council shall collaborate with the Presidents of Stakes, and shall be governed in the direction of their activities... in the stakes of the Church, by such regulations as may be decided upon by the Council of Twelve and the First Council of the Seventy.—RC 1, February 1, 1927.

275In the selection of men to be ordained to the office of Seventies, and the selection of persons to be set apart as presidents of the various quorums, the First Council shall confer with the Presidents of Stakes, on such plan as may be decided upon by the Council of Twelve and the First Council.—RC 1, February 1, 1927.

275The First Council have the presidency and general supervision of the various Quorums of Seventy. In the exercise of this presidency they shall collaborate with the presidents of stakes, and shall be governed by such regulations as may be decided upon by the Council of Twelve and the First Council of Seventy. The activities of Seventies resident in the stakes, both as to quorum and individuals, are under the supervision of Stake Presidents and Ward Bishops.—First Presidency, February 1, 1927.

275Meetings of the First Council of the Seventy.—The First Council of the Seventy meet every Thursday in the Temple to transact the business of the Church entrusted to them.

2754. THE FIRST COUNCIL OF THE SEVENTY IN CHURCH ADMINISTRATION

275The revelations on Church government make it clear that the responsibility of administering the keys of the Priesthood would devolve on the First Quorum of the Seventy were the First Presidency and Council of Twelve disorganized. In this responsibility their important function as a flexible administrative aid to the Council of the Twelve is made clear.

276In view, therefore, of the rapid growth of the Church and the increasing number of Stakes of Zion, the calling of the First Council becomes most significant. They are commissioned representatives, as it were, of the Twelve and First Presidency. No better indication of the utility of such a flexible quorum, functioning under the direction of the "Traveling Presiding High Council," may be seen than the recent development of stake missions. This work, assigned to the First Council, which is itself a traveling presiding high council, has an important function in filling the gaps, as it were, within the expanding network of stake organizations, and co-ordinating their activities under the direction of the higher, governing councils. Such developments are only indicative of the work to which any or all members holding the Priesthood may be called. In the case of the First Council of the Seventy it is also important to note that their usefulness as a flexible administrative device is not restricted by their obligation to plan and promote the welfare of the Seventies of the Church. For in their capacity and association as "Minute Men" among the General Authorities, their relationship to other Seventies become one of mutual stimulus, inasmuch as the quorums through the Church are not only provided with their own presidencies of seven, but are also grouped within the lesser territorial divisions of the Church with which the First Council are called upon to deal as General Authorities. Thus, in each stake of Zion the Seventies are under the immediate guidance and presidency of three Presiding High Priests and Twelve High Councilors of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Footnotes 4

1. See also Section 6, Chapter 10 for the calling, original organization, and relationships of the Seventy of the Church.

2. Note that President Young uses the word "virtually." As a man could hardly belong to two quorums at once, the "first quorum" here visualized is really an "acting first quorum." Technically, the First Quorum of Seventy could be called up and organized as such at any time by proper authority. The procedure could or could not be as Brigham Young suggests.

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277Chapter 23

277THE PRESIDING BISHOPRIC

2771. THE PRESIDING BISHOPRIC DEFINED

277The Presiding Bishopric, viewed as a whole, comprises the authority of the presidency over the Aaronic, or Lesser Priesthood. This Priesthood gives authority and power to officiate in all temporal or business affairs of the Church, together with the right to administer in many of the spiritual blessings of the Gospel. The term "Lesser" denotes a significant office of the Holy Priesthood—something joined to or growing out of the Higher or Melchizedek Priesthood. The Presiding Bishopric holds the keys to the Presidency of this Priesthood. Holding the keys means the right, power and authority to officiate in any and all the offices belonging thereto, and also the right to ordain others to this ministry.—CG 157.

277The quorum of the Presiding Bishopric consists of the Presiding Bishop and two counselors. All three are High Priests as well as Bishops. They preside over the Aaronic Priesthood. They administer the temporal affairs of the Church under the direction of the First Presidency. They supervise the handling of the tithes, the transfer of membership certificates, all financial and statistical reports, and similar matters. 1PC 156.

277 - 278This body in connection with the Stake Presidents holds jurisdiction over the duties of other Bishops in the Church, and of all activities and organizations pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood. The oldest living representative among the sons of Aaron is entitled to this office of presidency, provided he be in all respects worthy and qualified; however, he must be designated and ordained by the First Presidency of the Church. If such a literal descendant of Aaron be found and ordained, he may act without counselors, except when he sits in judgment in a trial of one of the Presidents of the High Priesthood, in which case he is to be assisted by twelve High Priests. But in the absence of any direct descendant of Aaron properly qualified, a High Priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood may be called and set apart by the First Presidency of the Church to the office of Presiding Bishop; he is to be assisted by two other High Priests, properly ordained and set apart as his counselors.—AF 211.

2782. APPOINTMENT OF PRESIDING BISHOPRIC

278Appointment of the Presiding Bishopric is vested solely in the First Presidency, the appointment to be confirmed, of course, by the vote of the Saints in general conference, and at other places and times.—CG 160.

2783. POWERS AND DUTIES OF PRESIDING BISHOPRIC

278First Duty, to Preside Over the Lesser Priesthood of the Church. The first duty of the Presiding Bishop is to preside over the Lesser Priesthood of the Church, which includes the holding of the keys of this ministry.—D&C 68:14, 23.

278He possesses "the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the Gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins."—D&C 13.

278Obliged to Consult With the First Presidency. The Presiding Bishop, who presides over all Bishops, and over all of the Lesser Priesthood, should consult the First Presidency in all matters of policy pertaining to the Bishopric.—IP 39.

278 - 279Administration of Temporal Affairs. In their capacity of exercising jurisdiction over the traveling and local Bishops of the Church, the Presiding Bishopric have charge of all temporal matters, under the direction, necessarily, of the First Presidency. The tithing, donations, and offerings of the members of the Church are under their care, both in receipt and in distribution. This includes the care of the poor, and the numerous other purposes for which the funds donated by the people may be used. In other words, the members of the Presiding Bishopric are receiving and distributing agents, under the direction of the Trustee-in-Trust. Thus the financial operations of the Church are localized and centralized in this one body. 2 This jurisdiction over the Bishops of the Church grows out of the fact that the Presiding Bishopric is ex-officio the presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood in all the world!"—CSQP 107:15.

279Judicial Function. It is the duty of the Presiding Bishopric, with twelve High Priests 3 as counselors, to act as a body of judges to try any charges that may be made against one of the First Presidency. This is the only body by which such a person may be tried. (D&C 107:82, 83.) This court has been convened once for this purpose. After the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, who had been his counselor, was tried before the Presiding Bishopric, and condemned. This occurred in 1844. It is further stipulated that if charges are brought against the Presiding Bishop himself he can be tried only by the First Presidency. (D&C 68:17-24; 107:82, 83; CSQP 24, 25.)

2794. TRIAL OF THE PRESIDING BISHOPRIC

279And again, no Bishop or High Priest who shall be set apart for this ministry, shall be tried or condemned for any crime, save it be before the First Presidency of the Church.—D&C 68:22, 24.

Footnotes

1. It should be kept in mind that a Bishop as a Bishop has jurisdiction over the Aaronic Priesthood, and as a High Priest has authority to preside over those holding the Melchizedek Priesthood as members of the Ward. The latter function could not be exercised were the Bishop a son of Aaron, claiming his office by that right. This dual position of a Bishop enables him to perform the many tasks imposed upon him in Ward administration.

2. As noted in an earlier chapter, the office of Presiding Bishop is incorporated for this purpose.

3. The Twelve Apostles.

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280Chapter 24

280GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH AND AUXILIARY FUNCTIONS

2801. GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND GENERAL OFFICERS DISTINGUISHED

280The general "authorities" of the Church are those discussed in the immediately foregoing chapters, namely, the First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles, the Patriarch to the Church, the First Council of Seventy, and the Presiding Bishopric.

280All other workers of church-wide jurisdiction are known as general "officers" of the Church. These are the Church Historian and Recorder and his assistants, the general Church Board of Education, the Church Auditing Committee, the general boards of auxiliary organizations, and other special callings of a church-wide nature.

2802. THE HISTORIAN'S OFFICE AND THE CHURCH HISTORIAN

280The Church Historian and Recorder with his assistants are appointed by the First Presidency. The Historian's office maintains custody of all historical documents of significance to the Church and is the depository of official reports and records of events from every jurisdiction of the Church.—D&C 20:83; 21:1; 47:3.

280Duty of the Historian as Related in the Doctrine and Covenants. It is the duty of the Lord's clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep a history and a general church record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties, and receive inheritances legally from the bishop; and also their manner of life, their faith, and works; and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritance.—D&C 85:1-2.

280 - 281And... he shall continue in writing and making a history of all the important things which he shall observe and know concerning my church; preaching and expounding, writing, copying, selecting, and obtaining all things which shall be for the good of the Church, and for the rising generations that shall grow up on the land of Zion.—D&C 69:2, 3, 8.

281The Importance of Historical Records. After prayer by President Joseph Smith, Jun., he said, if we heard, patiently, he could lay before the council an item which would be of importance. He had, for himself, learned a fact of experience, which, on recollection, always gave him deep sorrow. It is a fact, if I now had in my possession every decision which had been had upon important items of doctrine and duties since the commencement of this work, I would not part with them for any sum of money; but we have neglected to take minutes of such things, thinking perhaps that they would never benefit us afterwards; which, if we had them now, would decide almost every point of doctrine which might be agitated.—T 72.

2813. THE GENERAL BOARD AND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

281The governing board of the educational institutions supported by the Church is called The Church Board of Education. This Board consists of the First Presidency and The Quorum of The Twelve Apostles, with the President of the Church as President of the Board, and the other members of The First Presidency as Vice-Presidents. An Executive Committee appointed by The First Presidency performs most of the detailed work of the Board.

281The Executive Officer of the Board is the Administrator of the Department of Education and President of the Brigham Young University. His various assistants and the teaching faculties are appointed by the Board upon his recommendation. The Administrator is assisted by a central staff consisting of an Executive Assistant, a Vice-President in charge of Religious Education, and a Vice-President in charge of Finances and Business Administration.

282The object of the Unified Church Educational System is to establish and maintain Church Colleges, Universities, and to establish Institutes of Religion adjacent to institutions of higher learning, and Seminaries adjacent to high schools, where students may receive religious instruction in addition to the secular subjects taught in the public schools.

282By 1958 the Unified Church School System operated the Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah, Ricks College at Rexburg, Idaho, L.D.S. Business College at Salt Lake City, Utah; 21 full-time and 34 part-time Institutes of Religion serving L.D.S. students in 55 colleges and universities 17 Deseret Clubs at various other colleges and universities; 135 Seminaries adjacent to high schools operating on released time from public schools, and some 450 Seminaries operating on a non-released time basis, in 13 states, Canada, Mexico and Hawaii; 1 academy and 2 elementary schools at Colonia Juarez, Mexico. The total enrollment in the Unified Church School System in 1958 was in excess of 66,000 students.

282In addition to the Unified Church School System the Church also has organized schools in the Pacific area under the Church Board of the Pacific, operating the Church College of Hawaii at Laie, Oahu; the New Zealand College at Hamilton, New Zealand; the Mesepa Grade School and the Mesepa High School in American Samoa; the Pesega Grade School, the Sauniatu Grade School and the Vaiola Grade School in British Samoa; the Liahona College (high school grade) and the Tonga Grade School in Tonga; with a total enrollment in 1957-58 of 2,320.

282University of California

282Carbon Junior College

282College of Southern Utah

282University of Alberta

282Snow College

282Utah State Agricultural College

282U.C.L.A.

282U.S.C.

282University of Wyoming

282University of Idaho

282Weber College

282University of Idaho

282University of Nevada

282San Jose College

282University of Utah

282Dixie Junior College

282Eastern Arizona State College

282University of Arizona

282Arizona State College

282Northern Arizona State College

282 - 283El Camino Junior College

2834. THE CHURCH AUDITING COMMITTEE

283The Church Auditing Committee is charged with the duty of making an annual examination of the financial transactions and records of the Church. Their report is usually read at the General Conferences of the Church and incorporated in the printed conference report.

283The Committee is appointed by and labors under the direction of the First Presidency. It has access to all the financial records of the Church and its agencies, so that its reports may be valid in every particular.

2835. AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR ADMINISTRATION

283Auxiliary organizations are aids to the Priesthood in accomplishing the purposes of the Church. The program of the Church at the present time embraces the work, in addition to the Department of Education, of five other important auxiliary aids: the National Women's Relief Society, the Deseret Sunday School Union, the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association, the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association, and the Primary Association. 2

283Boise Junior College

283San Diego State College

283Sacramento State College

283Oregon State College

283Montana State College

283Bakersfield Junior College

283Cal Poly (Kellogg)

283Citrus Junior College

283Compton Junior College

283East Los Angeles Junior College

283Fullerton Junior College

283Glendale City College

283Harbor Junior College

283Long Beach City College

283Long Beach State College

283Los Angeles City & State (Vermont) Campus

283Los Angeles State (Ramona) Campus

283Los Angeles State (Valley) Campus

283Los Angeles Valley Junior College

283Mt. San Antonio Junior College

283Occidental

283Pasadena City and Cal Tech

283Santa Monica Junior College

283Santa Ana Junior College

283Woodbury Business College

283Pamona-Claremont-Scripps

283San Bernardino Valley Junior College

283University of California at Riverside

283San Diego Junior College

283U.C. at Santa Barbara

283Phoenix Jr. College

283Washington State

283Washington University

283 - 284L.D.S. Business College Auxiliary Administration. Each auxiliary is supervised by a general board, appointed under the direction of the First Presidency, each with a general presidency or superintendency bearing executive responsibilities. The entire system operates under a general program and plan assigned by the General Authorities of the Church. Major policies proposed by the boards must accordingly be approved by the First Presidency before they can be carried into action, in view of the nature of the auxiliary as an "aid" to the Priesthood. It then becomes the duty of the general boards to carry the principles and practices involved, to the stakes, wards, and missions of the Church as noted elsewhere.

284The general boards have no executive authority within the local subdivisions of the Church, but act in advisory capacity, as a central planning agency, and as directed by the properly designated Priesthood officers. General, Stake, Ward, and Mission Boards and workers thus serve in "staff" capacity to the Priesthood in advancing the program and practices of the Church. The general boards of each auxiliary regularly issue handbooks, guides, and other materials for the advancement of their assigned programs, in which the details of local organization and procedure are made clear and readily available to all members of the Church. The stake boards have direct supervision of the work in the stakes, and seek to assist the wards in carrying out the general program. The ward groups actually carry out the planned work with the membership of the organizations. General and Stake Board members hold membership in their respective auxiliary ward organizations, where they should pay annual dues, be properly enrolled, and recognized as members of the organization. They are expected to attend their regular ward meetings unless appointed to visit officially for the organization.

2846. CHURCH WELFARE PROGRAM

284 - 285The Church Welfare Plan is the expression of a philosophy that is as old as the Church itself, and the Priesthood is the instrumentality through which its aims may be achieved, with auxiliary aid. 3 The Welfare organization which has been called into service since April, 1936, is integral with the Priesthood organization of the Church. A General Committee with sub-committees has been organized and staffed with general officers as a necessary central staff agency to aid the General Authorities. But in regional, stake, ward, and quorum organizations, the Welfare mechanism is identical with responsible Priesthood authority and organization. 4 Thus the specialized assignments required for the Welfare Program fall directly on the body of the Priesthood. Particularly is this true in the larger objectives of the program, i.e., raising the level of economic and social welfare of all after meeting the emergency relief needs of the worthy poor and the displaced worker. In meeting the basic "relief" needs of the program, the Church and the Priesthood have been fortunate in the existence of the Relief Society and its intimate knowledge and experience with the fine art of relief administration. Thus this "aid" to the Priesthood may be fully capable, with Priesthood cooperation, of dealing permanently with the segment of the Welfare problem entailed in questions of relief. In so marshaling the traditional function of this auxiliary within the objectives of the Plan, the Priesthood is not relieved of administrative responsibility. But the regional, stake, and ward organizations are thereby somewhat freed from one stage of the problem so that their full attention may be riveted on more elusive and difficult tasks—the creative aspect of the Welfare Program.

Footnotes

3. Careful reference should be made to the 1939 study course for quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood, Priesthood and Church Welfare.

4. Note "Co-ordination of Priesthood and Welfare Committees" in Chapter 25, Section 6, above and accompanying chart.

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286Chapter 25

286STAKE ADMINISTRATION

2861. NATURE OF THE STAKE ORGANIZATION

286 - 287Meaning and Use of the Word "Stake." The Prophet Joseph uses this term in a sense entirely new from its common acception. A "Stake" of Zion is a geographical, numerical and governmental division of the Church. The first introduction we have of this word as implying certain territory for governmental purposes and habitations for the Saints, was when Kirtland was consecrated "for a Stake of Zion," April 26, 1832. The term, Stake of Zion, which was first used in a revelation given in November, 1831, (Sec. 68) is a comparison to the stakes which bind a tent. Isaiah says: "Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities; thine eyes still see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. (Is. 33:20.) Again enlarge the place of thy tent and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitation, spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes. (Is. 54:2.) (D&C 82:14; CG 84; see also Chapter 15, Section 5.)

287A stake is the largest convenient organized territorial division of the Church at home. The number of wards and branches in a stake varies; it may be few or many, according to convenience. The stake may be divided when found necessary for conveniently caring for the people. No limit has been set for the number that may be organized.—CSQP 26.

287The simple fact is, the stakes are merely subdivisions of the government of Zion. They did not exist until after Church government was established, but were afterwards erected out of the territorial and spiritual domain of the Kingdom. They were thus "consecrated" to be a strength in the government of Zion, and an extension of her borders.—CG 85.

287The Stake Organization Commanded. I have received instructions from the Lord that from henceforth, wherever the Elders of Israel shall build up churches and branches unto the Lord throughout the States, there shall be a stake of Zion. In the great cities, as Boston, New York, etc., there shall be stakes. It is a glorious proclamation, and I reserved it to the last, and designed it to be understood that this work shall commence after the washings, anointings and endowments have been performed here.—T 363, Joseph Smith.

287Where the Saints are permanently located, if numerous enough, Stakes of Zion are organized, each Stake comprising a number of wards or branches.—AF 211.

288Social Utility of the Stake. A stake is an administrative unit made up of several wards. The stake provides many inter-ward activities, thus encouraging acquaintanceship beyond the ward. Banquets, balls and social gatherings of great variety are sponsored by the stake officers. These stake affairs may be projected directly by the three men who constitute the Stake Presidency, or by the stake organizations created to supervise the auxiliaries of the wards. The stake events have the distinct advantage of making the ward families acquainted with one another, and thus to make more certain the solidarity of the Church as a unit. Besides, inter-ward inter-stake events are often featured, which extend still further the association of Church members.—PC 89.

2882. THE STAKE PRESIDENCY

288Stakes of Zion are presided over by a council of three High Priests, a president and two counselors, who are chosen and set apart for this work under the direction of the Presidency of the Church and sustained by the members of the Church. The Stake Presidency control the affairs of their Stake, and both Priesthood and auxiliary organizations are under their presidency. While the Priesthood quorums each has its officers, yet these are subject to the general control of the Stake Presidency; so also with the officers of Sunday Schools, Mutual Improvement Associations, Relief Society, Primary Associations, Religion Classes, and all others. The Bishops of the wards, also, are accountable to the Stake Presidency, who thus directly govern their stake in a general way; and indirectly, all organizations of the stake.—CSQP 26.

288 - 289The Stake President. We expect that the presidents of the stakes of Zion will be exemplars to the people. We expect them of a truth to be fathers unto those over whom they preside; men of wisdom, of sound judgment, impartial and just, men who will indeed qualify themselves, or who are indeed qualified by their natural endowments and by the inspiration from God which it is their privilege to enjoy, to preside in righteousness and to sit in righteous judgment over all matters brought to their attention, or that may legitimately belong to their office and calling.—GP 190.

2893. DUTIES OF THE STAKE PRESIDENCY

289Only those who have been ordained High Priests can officiate as members of a Stake Presidency or of a High Council. The following is a list of some of the principal duties of the Stake Presidency:

2891. To hold regular council meetings.

2892. To meet regularly with the high council.

2893. To choose the stake clerk.

2894. To recommend bishops of wards.

2895. To choose the presiding heads for the stake auxiliary organizations and see that the stake organizations are kept intact.

2896. To hold ward conferences.

2897. To audit reports of bishops. 1

2898. To attend to the monthly meeting of the high priests' quorum.

2899. To make all necessary preparation for the holding of quarterly conferences and under the direction of the General Authorities to conduct all sessions of these assemblies.

28910. To interview personally every missionary recommended to represent the Church in the mission field.

28911. To call and set apart stake missionaries.

28912. To approve all who are recommended by the bishops to go to the temple or to receive blessings from the Patriarch or acting Patriarch to the Church.

28913. To recommend Elders to be either Seventies or High Priests, and Seventies to be ordained High Priests.

28914. To supervise the Stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee, Stake Aaronic Priesthood committee, Stake Welfare committee, and others that may be formed.

29015. In general to perform all duties of a stake character as assigned by the General Authorities, including stake budgeting and finance.—PM 23-26.

290Especial Responsibility of Stake Presidency to Priesthood Quorums. It is the duty of the Presidencies of Stakes to supervise these Priesthood quorums. No Stake Presidency should permit a quorum to mark time month after month without giving serious thought and attention to the several duties required of the quorums. If officers will not serve, then officers should be chosen who have that ability and inclination. Presidencies of Stakes with the help of the High Council members are called upon to follow up this great labor and see that every man who is given authority performs his duty.—IE 49, 1937.

290Performance of Civil Marriages. Presidents of stakes and Bishops of Wards are the persons authorized by the Church to perform civil marriage ceremonies—the former in the stakes, and the latter in the wards. 2

290Division of Supervision Among Members of the Stake Presidency. There should be a distribution of the duties of the Stake Presidency in order that every phase of stake work may be supervised by a member of the Presidency. As a tentative listing of activities the division shown in the accompanying table is suggested, to be changed and modified to best suit the Presidency of the Stake. A similar distribution of responsibility might be made for Ward Bishoprics. (See the following chapter, "Ward Administration.")

290DIVISION OF STAKE SUPERVISION AMONG MEMBERS OF STAKE PRESIDENCY

290A. Organize Committees to help Stake Presidency

2901. From High Council alone

290a. For supervision of Priesthood and the auxiliaries

290b. Assign other duties as may be needed

2902. From High Council and Stake Membership as may be needed

2903. Place responsibility upon Stake Boards of all auxiliaries, Genealogy, etc.

2914. Let the Stake Presidency be the steerers not the engines of the ship. Get a good engine and keep it in repair.

2915. Divide Supervision of Stake activities among the President and his counselors.

2914. THE STAKE CLERK

291The Stake Clerk should be chosen by the Stake Presidency and High Council, subject, however, to the sustaining vote of the stake conference and the approval of the representative of the General Authorities setting him apart.

291The Stake Clerk's labors will be directed by the Stake Presidency and the Presiding Bishopric. He should be a good accountant and penman, systematic and thorough. He should be faithful in all respects and be worthy of the confidence of stake and ward officers and of the membership of the stake generally. He should not be a member of the Stake Presidency, High Council, or of a Ward Bishopric and preferably not of the immediate family of any presiding stake officer.—HI 71.

291His duties are to keep the stake records and accounts... and to perform such other duties as may be required of him by the presidency of the stake and the Presiding Bishopric.—HI 72.

2915. THE HIGH COUNCIL

291The standing High Councils, at the stakes of Zion, form a quorum equal in authority in the affairs of the Church, in all their decisions, to the quorum of the Presidency, or to the Traveling High Council.—D&C 107:36.

291 - 292In the individual stakes, Twelve High Priests constitute this body. They are presided over by the Stake President, assisted by his counselors, or by either of them. The first High Council of a stake is organized by the First Presidency, or by one or more of the Apostles acting under their direction. Afterwards vacancies are filled by the appointment of the Stake Presidency and sanctioned by a Council of the Priesthood convened for that purpose, or by the voice of a general stake conference. The High Council of a stake, in all its constitutional details and procedure, is patterned after the High Council first organized, February 17, 1834, at Kirtland, Ohio, and presided over by President Joseph Smith, Jr., for a number of years.—CG 174, D&C 102.

292The High Council as an Administrative Body. The functions of a Stake High Council are largely judicial, yet important legislative and executive powers are conferred upon it. And in the establishment of various committees within it, in representing the Stake Presidency in visiting wards, Priesthood quorums, auxiliary groups, and assisting the Presidency in any manner called upon, the Council is seen as an important administrative body. Nominations for Bishops and stake officers and new stake policies should be laid before the Stake High Council for their concurrence.

292In filling vacancies in the High Council the new member takes number twelve, and all old members holding numbers following the one whose place is vacant, move up one number toward the head, thus following the order of filling vacancies in the Council of the Twelve. (Compare CG 177.)

292Alternates are not a necessary part of a High Council. In case of the absence of one or more members at any regular session, the President may call in any High Priest to fill the vacancy thus caused. Where alternates are chosen they should not exceed six in number.—RC 1, 1923.

2926. STAKE PRIESTHOOD ADMINISTRATION: THE STAKE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD COMMITTEE

292Priesthood Administration the Direct Responsibility of the Stake Presidency. All quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood in a stake of Zion are under the supervision and direction of the Stake Presidency. The Stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee in turn represents the Stake Presidency in the supervision of all quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood within the stake.

292The Stake Melchizedek Priesthood Committee. To improve the supervision of the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums a stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee should be organized.

2937. THE STAKE HIGH PRIESTS' QUORUM

293All High Priests belonging to the stake are eligible to membership; in fact, all, irrespective of the number, are expected to be members whether acting in office or not. The quorum organization is for the purpose of selfculture, discipline, and such other spiritual development as shall prepare them in every way for the authority of their holy calling. It is from this body that presiding officers are largely selected; such as Stake Presidencies, High Councilors, Bishops, and officers for other leading positions. A President, two Counselors, and a Secretary, are the officers belonging to the organization. Sometimes for convenience in large stakes, there are local or ward divisions, patterned after the main organization; but these are in no sense independent bodies, for all are under one head.—CG196; see also chapters 11, 12, 13.

2938. QUORUMS OF SEVENTY

293With the organization of stake Melchizedek Priesthood committees, presidencies of stakes have the same general supervision over quorums of Seventies within their stakes that they now exercise over other quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

293The supervision of the Seventies, under the direction of the stake committee, relates exclusively to local activities in stakes and wards, and comes rightly under their supervision, whatever plans may be adopted to make their work more effective; and does not in any way conflict with the present system of supervision of the Seventies by the First Council in collaboration with the presidents of stakes as outlined in the joint letter of the Council of the Twelve Apostles and the First Council of the Seventy dated June 25, 1930, addressed to all stake presidencies throughout the Church, and from which we now quote:

293 - 294The presidents of the quorum will be expected to be in frequent consultation with the Stake Presidency, and wherever it is deemed by the presidents of the quorum necessary to make changes, to add members, or to take any other action promotive of quorum interest, the presidents of the quorum should seek an interview with the Stake Presidency, discuss the matter, and cause recommendations to be made to the First Council.

294The presidency and general supervision of the Seventies remain as heretofore with the First Council of the Seventy. The splendid new program now being adopted in the stakes, both as to the change of time for holding meetings, the course of study, and the various activities, such as Church Welfare projects, does not and is not intended to make any change whatever in the present system of supervision under the direction of the First Council of the Seventy, who, in collaboration with stake presidencies, provide for the integrity, missionary labors, and steady development of the quorums of Seventy.—IE 38, 1938. See also chapters 11, 12, 13.

2949. ELDERS' QUORUMS

294The Elders, the largest body of men holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, are organized into stake quorums.

294From among the ninety-six Elders constituting a quorum, are chosen a president, two counselors, and a secretary. The number of quorums that may be organized in a stake is limited only by the number of Elders within the stake. Wherever there is a district, a ward, or wards, in which there are ninety-six Elders (or even a few more or a few less) a quorum may be organized. This is done by the Stake Presidency, who have a general jurisdiction over all such quorums.—CG 196.

294At least a majority of the full number of ninety-six Elders is necessary to perfect the organization of a quorum.

294With the assistance of the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee, stake presidencies are directly responsible for the condition of Elders' quorums within the stake. The presidency should take pride in seeing that every quorum of Elders is functioning properly.

29410. THE STAKE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD COMMITTEE

294 - 295One of the important duties devolving upon the Presidency of the Stake is to assist ward bishoprics in carrying out fully the Church Aaronic Priesthood program. To this end a stake Aaronic Priesthood committee is organized, consisting of three or more members of the High Council, and such other brethren as may be called into service. A minimum of six members is recommended. This committee should be in close touch with the conditions and activities of the Aaronic Priesthood of the stake; and should hold regular monthly meetings. Much depends upon the successful development of the Aaronic Priesthood program; in fact, the future of the stake, its growth and development, depends largely upon the training and education of the young men of today. For that reason the supervision of Aaronic Priesthood work in all of the stakes should be carefully undertaken and whole-heartedly carried forward in accordance with the standards specified.

29511. STAKE PATRIARCHS

295Stake Patriarchs are nominated by the First Presidency and the Council of Twelve, and not by Stake Presidents. The Patriarchs may be ordained under instructions from the First Presidency by the Apostle visiting the stake conference. The number of Stake Patriarchs is determined by the needs of the stake. Patriarchal blessings may be given by a Stake Patriarch only in the stake in which he is sustained, except, of course, his own family.

295Those who desire patriarchal blessings must first secure a recommend from the Bishop, which must be presented to the Patriarch before the blessing is given.

295A worthy member residing in the missions, may, when visiting in the stakes of Zion, receive a blessing from the Patriarch in the stake in which he or she is visiting, upon presentation to the Patriarch of a recommendation for this purpose, signed by the president of the branch and the president of the mission in which his or her membership is recorded.—CR 2, 1937.

29512. STAKE MISSIONS

295 - 296Every stake should maintain a Stake Mission, organized much after the foreign missions, except that the missionaries usually would be asked to devote only a part of their time to the work—not less than two evenings a week. The general organization and procedure of the Stake Missions are set forth as follows:

296I. That the object of this work be to do missionary work within the stakes of Zion.

296II. That a mission be organized in each stake of Zion and that the general supervision thereof be given to the First Council of the Seventy.

296III. That the First Council of the Seventy operate directly through the Presidencies of Stakes.

296IV. That the immediate charge of the Mission shall be given to a Mission President who should preferably be a Seventy but may be a High Priest. In case the most desirable man for this position be an Elder, he must first be ordained a Seventy before appointment. The Mission Presidents shall be recommended by the Stake Presidency, after consultation with the local council or councils of Seventy and approved by the First Council.

296V. That the missionaries to be employed preferably be Seventies but that High Priests and women may be called to serve. Also that prospective missionaries who are taking missionary training courses be used to give them experience.

296VI. That the mission be divided into districts over which district presidents, preferably Seventies, be appointed.

296VII. That report forms be prepared by the First Council of the Seventy upon which the activities of the missionaries be reported weekly to the Mission President who will report to the First Council and to the Stake President monthly.

296VIII. That calls for missionary service be made by the Presidents of Stakes after consultation with Bishops and the local Council of Seventy upon forms prepared by the First Council. That all missionaries so called be made to understand that the call entails full compliance with all missionary regulations and cheerful and faithful response to all assignments.

297The Stake Mission Presidents, after consultation with Presidents of Stakes, shall be authorized to grant releases to missionaries.

297IX. That the further detail of the program be left to the First Council, who will of course collaborate with stake presidents, subject, however, to approval of the Council of Twelve Apostles.—RC 2, 1936. The Council of the Twelve. (Signed) Rudger Clawson, President.

297Missionaries should be selected with care so that qualified, competent men and women may be recommended and called to this important service for the Church. The brethren and sisters called should have an abiding faith in and an enduring testimony of the Gospel, coupled with a yearning desire for the salvation of the souls of mankind.

297These brethren and sisters are on missions and, therefore, not subject to local appointments of any kind—neither in the auxiliary organizations, Priesthood quorum activities. Church Welfare program, nor other Church duties, except with the express permission of the Stake President. They must be considered as being absent on missions, as are those who have been sent abroad.

297They should, however, attend Sacrament meetings and Priesthood quorum meetings, to get the benefit of the instructions there provided, unless such meetings should interfere with their missionary appointments.

297The stake mission should be just as completely separate and apart from all other stake work as are the missions abroad.—IE 38-39, 1938.

29713. MISCELLANEOUS PROBLEMS IN STAKE ADMINISTRATION

297Stake Meetings. The several Elders composing this Church of Christ are to meet in conference once in three months, or from time to time as said conferences shall direct or appoint. And said conferences are to do whatever Church business is necessary to be done at the time.—D&C 20:61-62.

297 - 298Each stake holds a conference every three months, including usually one meeting on Saturday (a Priesthood conference) and two on Sunday. The evening of conference Sunday is usually devoted to a Mutual Improvement Association conference. The stake Priesthood have conferences as may be needed. Miscellaneous stake gatherings occur as occasion demands. The Stake President presides at all stake conferences.—PC 160.

298Programs for the conduct of stake conferences are ordinarily issued annually to the stakes by the Council of the Twelve.

298The importance and prominence of the stake conference in stake government can hardly be over-estimated. A vital principle of Church policy is strikingly manifest in these assemblies, namely, "government by common consent." Here, each member, whether officer or layman, may exercise the divine right of choice; he may vote to sustain or vote to reject, any general or stake officer exercising the remotest jurisdiction over him. And this right he may exercise four times a year, or more, during life. Surely this is the acme of perfect government under the law of God. A great variety of other business may lawfully and legally be transacted by these meetings, for they are assemblies of all the councils and quorums, indeed of all persons holding a membership in the Church and living within the stake lines. Officers who administer in stake affairs make reports here of their respective charges for the information and benefit of all. Also, Elders of the Church, filled with the Holy Ghost, deliver the word of the Lord, teach, expound, counsel, direct, and advise the people. The Stake President presides, or should one or more of the First Presidency be in attendance, one of them in his order, would preside both by right and by courtesy. Arrangements as to time and place for holding stake conferences are made by the First Presidency.—CG 198.

298The Purpose of Conferences, Meetings, Reports. The object of our conferences, Priesthood meetings and reports, is, not only to ascertain how we stand according to statistics, but that we may be able to learn what our individual condition is as members of the Church, to see ourselves in a glass, as it were, and find out wherein we need improving;

299and that men who have the charge and general oversight of the people may see at a glance the condition of the people in the different wards.—JD 19:132, Erastus Snow.

29914. AUXILIARY STAKE BOARDS

299The auxiliary organizations are administered on a stake basis through regular stake boards which function as supervisory heads of all the ward auxiliary organizations in perfecting the Church program.

299General Qualifications of Stake Officers. 3 They should:

2991. Sustain the General Authorities of the Church.

2992. Sustain the Presidency of the Stake.

2993. Sustain the Bishopric of their Ward.

2994. Be tithe-payers if they are wage earners.

2995. Observe the Word of Wisdom.

2996. Be in the habit of praying and, if married, practice prayer in the family.

2997. Attend Sacrament and other meetings on the Sabbath day.

2998. Attend the various meetings held on the Stake Union and Priesthood meeting Sunday.

2999. Refrain from joining secret societies.

29910. Refrain from attending places of amusement on the Sabbath.

29911. The brethren should attend ward Priesthood meetings.

29912. The brethren should avoid frequenting pool halls.

29913. All should refrain from card playing with the traditional cards used by gamblers.

29914. All are expected to magnify their callings.—RC 1.

299 - 300We expect all the General Officers of the Church, each and every one of them, from this very day, to be absolute full tithe-payers, really and truly to observe the Word of Wisdom; and we ask all of the officers of the Church and all members of the General Boards, and all stake and ward officers, if they are not living the Gospel and honestly and conscientiously paying their tithing, to kindly step aside, unless from this day they live up to these provisions.—CR 129, 1937, Heber J. Grant.

30015. FUNCTION OF STAKE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES

300In Answering Questions. It is suggested that any member or officer of the Church in doubt regarding any matters or questions should be encouraged to consult with the Ward Bishopric or Stake Presidency. If, for any reason, these brethren should find it necessary to secure further information, they could then submit the question to the General Authorities, but not until the prior steps have been taken.—Cf. Hl, 110.

Footnotes

1. In general practice High Councilors are occasionally called into service to aid in this work. However, the ultimate responsibility of the Stake President is not lessened thereby. Changes in Church procedure may somewhat alter this duty but the basic principle remains unchanged.

2. See the chapter on "Ordinances and Ceremonies," under this same heading.

2. These items should be called to the attention of all officers now serving and should serve as a guide in future recruiting. These minimum standards apply to all Church officers and particularly officers of Priesthood quorums.

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301Chapter 26

301WARD ADMINISTRATION

3011. WARD ORGANIZATION

301The stakes are divided into wards containing usually from one hundred and fifty to fifteen hundred members. Each ward is presided over by a Bishop and two counselors, High Priests, who are assisted in various capacities by the local ward Priesthood. 1RT 106.

301 - 302Description of the Ward Organization. The ward organization bears a close likeness to that of the stake. The presidency is the Bishop, assisted by two counselors; together they are called the Bishopric, and are appointed by the Presidency of the Church, usually upon the nomination of the Stake Presidency and High Council. The ward has a court over which the Bishop as judge presides, having as associates his two counselors. 2 There is a quorum of forty-eight Priests in each ward, provided a sufficient number hold that office. The Bishop is the President of the Priests' quorum. There may also be one or more Teachers' and Deacons' quorums, each presided over by a president and two counselors chosen from their respective quorums. All quorums have a clerk or secretary. Each ward, when fully organized, has a Relief Society, a Sunday School, a Young Men's and a Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association, a Primary Association, a Genealogical class, and ward units of any other auxiliary organization or function of the Church such as Welfare or Education. A Board of Education is composed of the Bishopric of the ward. The ward clerk has charge of the official records.—CG 199.

302Place of the Ward in Church Government. Next to the family, the ward government ranks foremost as an instrument for securing the religious training of men, women and children, and for the promotion and regulation of their domestic and temporal affairs. Members of the Church for the most part are under three jurisdictions—the general, the stake and the ward. Yet it is evident that the individual comes in contact with ward agencies much more frequently than with all others combined.—CG 199.

302 - 303Historical Development of Wards. The Ward is the outgrowth of what was known in early days as "branches" or "churches." These separate organizations were then spoken of as "the church at Fayette," "the church at Colesville," "the church at Harmony," "at Kirtland," and so on, and meant then about what ward means now, though the organizations referred to were not so complete as are our wards. Warren A. Cowdery was appointed a presiding High Priest over the Church at Freedom. (D&C 106:1; 20:66, 67; for presiding Elders see D&C 20:81, 84.) At first the churches were presided over by Priests, or Elders, as branches are governed today. Later High Priests were set over large or numerically strong churches, with counselors to assist them. Today the wards are presided over in the same manner by three High Priests—a president and two counselors—thus forming the Presidency of the Ward. But as each Presidency of a Ward also holds another important office—the Bishopric—the title of "Bishop" overshadows that of "President." The head of the ward, therefore, is almost universally called the "bishop."—CG 87.

303The Ward as an Administrative Device. The ward population should be small enough to enable the Bishopric to know personally every member of the ward.—PC 87.

303The ward is the foremost device of the Church for securing legitimate social satisfactions, within a community. It is the social unit of the Church.—PC 86.

303All activities of the Church are organized on a ward basis—whether Priesthood or auxiliary. As the wards of the Church are, so is the Church. Similarly, the Bishopric, the ultimate presiding authorities of the Church, become of foremost importance, for the condition of the ward depends upon their earnest activity, and the requirements of the Church are administered by them to the people. 3PC 87.

3032. HOW WARDS ARE FORMED 4

303When, in the opinion of the Stake Presidency, a ward has grown so large that the membership would be benefited by a division, the matter should be taken up by the Stake Presidency. After a thorough investigation, should there be a consensus of opinion that it would be advantageous to all concerned to divide a ward into two wards, a recommendation to that effect, approved by the Stake High Council, should be sent to the First Presidency.

303 - 304Should the Presidency approve the recommendation, the proposition would then be taken up with the people of the ward. Should the people give assent to the proposition, the Stake Presidency should proceed to select, under the usual conditions, a Bishop, and at a meeting especially called for the occasion, a new ward would be organized and the Bishopric presented for the sustaining vote of the people of the ward.

304If an independent branch becomes so large that in the opinion of the Stake Presidency it would function more effectively as a ward, the proposition should be brought before the High Council. If the Stake Presidency and the High Council decide that it would be desirable to convert the branch into a ward, a recommendation to that effect should be sent to the First Presidency. The latter steps would then be similar to those taken in the division of a ward.

3043. THE WARD BISHOPRIC

304A Ward Bishopric is established in every fully organized ward of the Church. This body consists of three High Priests, one of whom is ordained as a Bishop and set apart to preside over the ward, the other two being set apart as counselors to the Bishop. 5 The Bishop has jurisdiction over the quorums of the Lesser Priesthood in his ward, and also over holders of the Higher Priesthood as members of his ward; but he has no direct presidency over quorums of the Melchizedek order, as such, which may be embraced within his domain. As a presiding High Priest, he properly presides over his entire ward.—AF 212.

304Relation of Bishopric to the Stake Presidency and Presiding Bishopric. Ward Bishoprics, as parts of the stake official family, are responsible directly to the Stake Presidency, and also under the supervision of the Presiding Bishopric.

304For ease of administration many of the statistical and financial duties of a Ward Bishopric are reported directly to the Presiding Bishopric.

304This dual supervision need not in any sense be embarrassing.

305General Authority, Duties and Jurisdiction of the Ward Bishopric. The Bishop's authority extends over all the officers and members of the ward; he, with his counselors, has supervision over all organizations therein; he directs and controls all ward affairs according to the rules and regulations of the Church, by and with the counsel of those who preside over him. He receives the tithes of the people; directs in the ordinances of baptism and confirmation of new members; conducts funerals; signs recommendations for worthy members to enter temples, receive patriarchal blessings, and gives certificates of membership and standing to those who remove to other wards, etc. In fact, the duties of his office are so numerous that he is daily brought in close contact with the people.—CG 200.

305Meetings of Bishopric. It is the duty of the Bishop and his counselors, with the ward clerk, to hold regular council meetings, preferably once a week, for the discussion of Ward affairs.

305The Bishop and His Counselors. The Bishop should give full recognition to his counselors. They may well take charge of meetings in rotation with the Bishop.

305The Bishop as Presiding Officer of the Ward. A Bishop is the presiding officer of his ward, and where the Bishop is in the ward, his counselors and those who are members of his ward are subject to his presidency. He cannot yield it up. He cannot give it to another; or, if he does, he violates one of the sacred principles of the government of the Priesthood. He may direct his counselors, the first or the second, to do his will, to carry out his wishes, to execute his desires, or his commands; but, in so doing, the counselor does not act as the Bishop, but he acts under the direction of the presiding authority.—GD 185.

305 - 306The Bishop's Right of Appointment Within Ward Auxiliary Organizations. The Bishop has the right of appointment. No auxiliary association officer really, under the order of the Church, has this right. The auxiliary officer may suggest to his Bishop those whom he thinks should be appointed in his organization, but the inherent right of appointment rests with the Bishop, who will be held responsible for the character of those appointed. In general practice the Bishop delegates his power of appointment, as a sound administrative practice, to the president or superintendent of each organization. In calling such leaders, the Bishop recognizes their right to select their own counselors and organization staff. And in turn, the president or superintendent thus chosen, recognizes his responsibility to organize such a competent, worthy staff as will be capable of carrying forward the Church program. Thus the Bishop's counsel, advice, and permission to call certain persons into auxiliary service is always to be sought by the duly appointed auxiliary officer.

306Spiritual Gifts of the Bishop. And unto the Bishop of the Church, and unto such as God shall appoint and ordain to watch over the Church and to be Elders unto the Church, are to have it given unto them to discern all those gifts lest there shall be any among you professing and yet be not of God.

306And it shall come to pass that he that asketh in Spirit shall receive in Spirit; That unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head, in order that every member may be profited thereby.

306He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh.

306And again, I say unto you, all things must be done in the name of Christ, whatsoever you do in the Spirit; And ye must give thanks unto God in the Spirit for whatsoever blessing ye are blessed with. And ye must practice virtue and holiness before me continually. Even so. Amen."—D&C 46:27-33.

3064. WARD AARONIC PRIESTHOOD 6

306Quorum Supervision. Ward supervision of the Aaronic Priesthood is handled by the Bishopric, assisted by the Board of Quorum Advisors, including the Adult Aaronic Priesthood advisor, with one as chairman.

307Advisors' duties are to act individually as class leaders in quorums. They should hold weekly committee meetings as a board, preferably after Priesthood meeting and follow-up (a) attendance of members, (b) weekly assignments of duties, (c) lesson preparation by members, (d) prepare monthly reports for stake committee, (e) prepare young men for ordination and advancement, (f) supervise social and fraternal activities, and (g) consider general welfare of quorums.—HI 20.

3075. THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD EXTENSION PLAN

307Ward Organization: The Bishopric as the Presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood; the Chairman of Ward Aaronic Priesthood Committee and all Quorum Advisors; the Teachers of A, B, and C departments in Sunday School; the M Men Leader, Explorer Leader and Scoutmaster; the Secretary of the Committee.

307Meetings. A regular meeting to be held monthly, under the presidency of the Bishopric.

307Procedure. At this meeting, dates for all ward social or fraternal activities involving more than one age group, should be determined, as far in advance as practicable. General dates involving all age groups of the Aaronic Priesthood should be set up before department dates are determined to avoid conflicts of dates or interests. The meeting then separates into three groups—Bishop with advisor of Priests' quorum, teacher of Sunday School "C" Class, and M Men Leader. First counselor, preferably with advisor of Teachers' quorum, teacher of Sunday School "B" class and Explorer Leader. Second counselor, preferably, with advisor of Deacons' quorum, teacher of Sunday School "A" class and Scoutmaster. In these groups should be discussed the activities and general condition of the particular age or quorum group, and also methods of improving conditions.

3086. THE WARD MEMBERSHIP

308No man who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or who has a standing in the Church as a member, is exempt from his responsibilities as a member and his allegiance to the Bishop of the ward in which he dwells. I am as much bound to acknowledge my Bishop as a member of the ward in which I dwell, as the humblest and latest member of the Church. No man, who claims to be a member of the Church in good standing, can rise above or become independent of the authority that the Lord Almighty has established in His Church. This watch-care of the people, of their right living, of their fidelity to their covenants and to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, belongs to the Presidents of Stakes and their counselors and the High Councils, or members of the High Councils, to the Bishop and his counselors and the Teachers of his ward.—GD 153.

308Ward Record of Members. Each ward is provided with a Ward Record of Members which contains the name of every member of the ward as well as the record of all blessings, baptisms, confirmations, ordinations, marriages, excommunications and deaths.—HI 59.

308Membership Certificates. All members removing from the Church where they reside, if going to a Church where they are not known, may take a letter certifying that they are regular members and in good standing, which certificate may be signed by any Elder or Priest if the member receiving the letter is personally acquainted with the Elder or Priest, or it may be signed by the Teachers or Deacons of the Church.—D&C 20:84.

308Persons moving where there is no ward or branch should be retained as members of their home wards. All other persons should be enrolled in the branch or ward where they live even though they may be too far away to attend meetings. In such cases, the Bishop should regularly keep in communication with them by letter and instruct them in the observance of the commandments of the Lord, and advise them to forward their tithing to him.

309If families have interests which require their removal during part of the year, their membership should be held in the ward or branch where the major portion of the year is spent.

309Membership of students and teachers away from home for the school season of seven or eight months, should be retained in their home wards, unless they desire a transfer of membership. In case their services are desired as officers in the various organizations of the wards or branches in which they are temporarily residing, a letter of recommendation may be sent to the Bishop of that ward or President of the branch by the Bishop of their home ward. When persons leave wards to attend school and expect to be away for a year or more, their membership certificates should be transferred to the stake or mission where the school is located.—HI 37-38.

309Certificates of membership should be sent to the Presiding Bishop's Office for all members who remove permanently from wards or branches in the stakes of Zion. A separate certificate with full genealogy should be issued for each individual, including children who have been blessed. The ward or address to which they have removed should be stated.—HI 37.

309Presentation of Certificates. Certificates of membership should be presented for acceptance by the ward membership by the Bishopric at the next sacrament meeting following their receipt, assuming that the person named therein shall have been visited in the meantime by the Bishopric or Ward Teachers, and invited to be present. If, for any reason, members are not present when their certificates are presented, they should, nevertheless, be received by the vote of the congregation. Certificates of membership should be recorded immediately after being accepted.—HI 38-39.

309Requests for Certificates of Membership. Immediately upon the arrival of members in a ward, or upon a report from the Ward Teachers, the ward clerk should send a request for their certificates of membership to the Presiding Bishop's Office.—HI 27.

310Lost Membership Records. If records have been lost and members are unable to prove or furnish dates of their baptism and confirmation, the evidence of those acquainted with them as to their faithful labors and proper conduct, as well as their present record of activity, may be accepted, and such persons may be received as members of the ward upon the vote of the congregation and their names entered upon the ward record of members. Persons claiming membership in the Church who cannot furnish proper evidence of their standing should be baptized and confirmed.

310It sometimes happens that members of the Church in isolated districts where there are no organized branches attend other denominations and allow their names to be entered on the records of these other churches. Later they desire to become identified again with the Church. Unless they have been excommunicated, such persons do not require rebaptism, but may be accepted again to fellowship with the Church upon the evidence of sincere repentance.—HI 39.

310Ward and Church Census. Every five years a census of the Church is taken on forms which are provided from the Presiding Bishop's Office. This is the only official record of the members of the Church which is kept at the General Church Offices. It should contain the name of every person claiming to be a member of the Church residing in each ward and branch.

310Ward Meetings and Social Activities. The social needs of the people are met by regular meeting and social functions. The Sunday Sacrament meeting, the Sunday School, Mutual Improvement Association, and other auxiliaries bring the people together frequently, and therefore have real social value. The chatting before and after meeting, the hand shake, the general contacts, give social cheer to all who attend.

310 - 311In addition to meetings, social events feature life in the ward. Once a year or oftener, there is a ward reunion, usually a dinner in the ward meetinghouse, followed by various recreational events. Old Folks' parties are given; the Relief Society has its annual affair; the other auxiliaries their annual social gatherings, and the Mutual Improvement Associations carry on a full year's program of recreational events, dances, Fathers' and Sons' and Mothers' and Daughters' outings and banquets. M Men and Gleaner Girls social gatherings, baseball, basketball and other athletic events, debates, dramatic productions and musicals. Altogether, in most wards the social and recreational programs are very full and sufficient to satisfy all, of every taste.—PC 89.

311Sacrament Meetings. It is expedient that the Church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus.—D&C 20:75.

311Ye are also commanded not to cast any one who belongeth to the Church out of your Sacrament meetings; nevertheless, if any have trespassed, let him not partake until he makes reconciliation.

311And, again, I say unto you, ye shall not cast any out of your Sacrament meetings who are earnestly seeking the Kingdom—I speak this concerning those who are not of the Church.—D&C 46:4-5.

311The Sacrament meeting is the most important one held in the ward, and as such should receive first consideration. It is the duty of the Bishopric to see that every meeting is made as instructive and interesting as possible; that appropriate music is provided; that all preparations for the administering and passing of the Sacrament are made in advance to avoid confusion; and that the people are imbued with a sense of the importance of attendance at these meetings. Too much routine, especially in speaking, should be avoided.

311No meeting should be arranged to take place at a time that will conflict with the time set for Sacrament meetings.—HI 86.

311Fast Day Services. The first Sunday of the month has been set apart as a day of fasting and prayer, and on this day the Saints should meet together in Fast Day meeting and remember the poor by bringing contributions for relieving their needs. At the meeting, the Bishopric should make provision for accepting these offerings. The Sacrament should be administered in this meeting.

312These services are ordinarily given over to the bearing of testimonies by all the members in attendance so far as time will permit. The Bishopric have direction of the meeting, however, and may properly limit the time given for testimony bearing, if necessary. Young people should be favored in the bearing of testimony. All should be moderate in the statements made. Everything that is said and done should be for strengthening the faith and promoting the peace and joy of all present.—HI 87.

312Ward Priesthood Meeting. In every ward and branch a weekly meeting of the Aaronic Priesthood, at least, should be held at such time as may be designated by the Stake Presidency with the approval of the Bishopric. Every member of the Aaronic Priesthood should be enrolled. It is very desirable, also, that all Ward Teachers should attend. The Bishop should preside at this meeting.—HI 88.

312Council Meetings. The Bishopric should meet in a council once a week. At these meetings they will consider matters affecting the ward as a whole and the individual members. To promote system, it is an excellent thing to follow a regular order of business, having in mind the various interests of the ward. It is also recommended that the officers of the various Priesthood quorums and auxiliary organizations be invited occasionally to attend this meeting as well as follow its example in their own organization, at which time the Bishopric may effectively inquire as to the progress being made by the organization under their supervision.—HI 88-89.

3127. ORDINANCES 7

312The Bishopric and Baptismal Services. The Bishopric should obtain from the ward clerk every three months a list of children who will become eight years old within three months. They should then consult with the parents about proper instructions for the child in order that it may be worthy of baptism on or about its eighth birthday.—HI 90-91.

313Confirmations. Those who have been baptized should be confirmed preferably in fast meetings, and a complete and accurate record should be made of the same by the ward clerk and entered in the Ward Record of Members. The proper certificate should be issued and delivered to the person confirmed at the close of the meeting.—HI 91.

313Blessings of Children. Whenever practicable, parents should take their children to be blessed to the fast meeting in the ward where their membership is recorded. There should be prepared by the ward clerk at that meeting the certificate of blessing for the signature of the Bishop; and it should be delivered to the parents immediately after the close of the meeting.—HI 88-90.

3138. WARD TEACHING

313The Bishop and his counselors are drawn from the general membership of the ward. They may be laborers, tradesmen, business or professional men, who carry on their usual temporal occupations, while presiding over the ward. Under such conditions the Bishopric can devote only a part of their time to ecclesiastical work, and therefore, especially in large wards, find it difficult to keep in intimate touch with all the families of the ward.

313Ward Teachers are aids to the Bishopric, charged with the special duty of visiting the families of the ward, teaching them the Gospel, discovering their needs, comforting and blessing them, and returning a full report to the Bishop and his counselors. Each family in the ward should be visited once a month. The Teachers go out two by two. The visits are usually made in the evening.

313The ordained Teachers and Priests in the Priesthood of the Church may be called upon to render this service, but since the number required in a ward is generally large, often fifty or more, any man holding higher offices of the Priesthood, may be called to become a Ward Teacher.

313 - 314The kind and gentle inquiries of the Ward Teachers cover all the needs of the family, material as well as spiritual. The reports made to the Bishopric become the basis of attempts to alleviate existing conditions. He is in some respects the most important worker in the Church. When he does his work well, the Bishop is fully informed, and the spiritual or material help needed is given.—PC 87.

314The importance of the Ward Teacher and Relief Society teacher 8 can not be overestimated. Their work holds together as one unit the members of the Church. They are social workers of a high order, serving without pay, and avoiding all publicity of their findings.—PC 89.

314The Ward Teacher's Duty. It is the Teacher's duty to arrange with his companion, under the direction of the Bishopric and the presiding Teacher, for the time of visits each month to the various families under their direction and care. It is expected that he will prepare himself to do the work as above indicated. Each pair of Teachers should carry with them a Teachers' Monthly Report Book and make the proper entries therein in order to furnish a complete report at the end of each month at the monthly report meeting. In all visits made, in addition to instructions given, information should be obtained as to any changes in the family, such as births, deaths, marriages, members arrived or removed, etc.—HI 55.

3149. TITHING

314One-tenth of the wage earners' salaries, or of the monthly income of the business or professional men, is given to the Church, through the Bishop, for general Church purposes. This money is used for the building and maintenance of temples, meetinghouses and other Church edifices; for the support of the educational and missionary systems; for the care of the sick and the indigent, and for any and every Church activity. 9PC 97.

314 - 315Children eight years of age or over who have been baptized, are amenable to the law of tithing and should be encouraged to tithe their own earnings or money actually received by them. At least they should be given the opportunity to pay some tithing each year, no matter how small the amount. This procedure will prove more helpful and encouraging to the young people than where the father pays tithing for the members of his family, thereby depriving them of the privilege of having their own names on the tithing record and the opportunity of attending the annual tithing settlement.—HI 31.

315Aged persons without incomes, women whose husbands are not members of the Church, women who have no income separate from that of their husbands, and children who have no individual source of revenues, are exempt from the payment of tithes.—HI 31.

315Annual Tithing Settlement. Near the close of the year, the Bishopric will arrange for the annual tithing settlement. The time and place of settlement should be convenient for the members of the ward. Announcement of the time and place should be made in all ward meetings during December, also by the Bishopric and Ward Teachers in their visits to the homes.

315Details in the Handling of Tithes. The Presiding Bishop's Office furnishes all Bishops and Branch Presidents with tithing receipt books which are bound in triplicate. In every ward or branch, arrangements should be made to receive the tithes and offerings, preferably in the Bishop's Office, at the sacrament and fast day meetings. The proper time to pay tithing is when one's income is received. Upon payment, the Bishop provides the member with the original copy of the triplicate receipt. The duplicate, together with the tithing, is grouped with similar duplicates which are remitted with the cash to the Presiding Bishop's Office. The Bishop retains the third copy as his permanent record. The Presiding Bishop's Office then maintains the individual record of each tithepayer, periodically providing the Bishops and Branch Presidents with a list of the ward or branch membership and the amount paid by each. The local Bishops or Branch Presidents should mail their Tithing Reports (consisting of the duplicate receipts and cash) on the Monday following each monthly Fast Sunday. Thus the January Tithing Report includes the February Fast Day.

31610. FAST OFFERINGS

316Once a month the members of the Church fast from one evening to the next, thereby missing two or three meals. This monthly period of fasting begins usually the evening before the first Sunday of the month, and ends Sunday afternoon or evening. Such an occasional fast is good for the body, but its spiritual value is even greater. A sum of money, equivalent in value to the money saved by the meals not eaten, should be placed in the hands of the Bishop for use in helping the poor. It may be easily calculated that if all people adopted this custom, about one person in thirty-three could be fully fed from the fast donations. Should the practice become world-wide, it would practically wipe hunger from off the face of the earth.—PC 97.

316Observance of the Fast Day. Let it be remembered that the observance of the fast day by abstaining twenty-four hours from food and drink is not an absolute rule, it is no iron-clad law to us, but it is left with the people as a matter of conscience, to exercise wisdom and discretion. Many are subject to weakness, others are delicate in health, and others have nursing babies; of such it should not be required to fast. Neither should parents compel their little children to fast. I have known children to cry for something to eat on fast day. In such cases, going without food will do them no good.

316But those should fast who can, and all classes among us should be taught to save the meals which they would eat, or their equivalent, for the poor. None are exempt from this; it is required of the Saints, old and young, in every part of the Church.—GD 244.

31611. THE WARD AND THE PROGRAM OF THE CHURCH

316 - 317On the Ward Bishopric, as executive officers of the basic territorial divisions of the Church, rests the responsibility for putting into action the program of the Church. From time to time current problems have created and called forth specially designated "committees" to aid the Bishopric and the Priesthood in this work. However, the basic personnel which composes the Bishop's staff in this steady performance is more or less permanent in consisting of the available executive officers of ward Priesthood quorums or groups, and the executive officers of the various "aids" to the Priesthood. As at present organized this general staff consists of the following officers, who operate under the direction of the Bishopric. The Bishopric or Presidency of the Ward, and the Ward Clerk; the group leaders or available officers (quorum presidencies) of the High Priests, Seventies, Elders, and Aaronic Priesthood; the Relief Society President, Sunday School Superintendent, Y.M.M.I.A. and Y.W.M.I.A. Presidents, Primary Superintendent, Representative of Seminary or Department of Education, Ward Work Director, and such others, or associates of the foregoing as may be needed. The ward is the workshop where the actual work of the Church is performed; the basis for Church membership and activity for all. In the Church organized in territorial form, the ward organization is comparable only to the relationship of the Quorum to the Priesthood. As the meeting ground for quorums, and membership alike, the Priesthood has a universal outlet in the ward for building the Kingdom of God on earth.

Footnotes

1. See Chapter 18, especially Section 11, for qualifications and selection of Bishops.

2. See Chapter 17 above, especially Section 17, for the judicial importance of the Bishop and the ward.

3. For branches see Chapter 15, Section 5, below.

4. For the performance of this important work it will be noted as elsewhere in matters of Church Government, that it is the responsibility of the proper authority to take the initiative, but that the law of common consent must operate to make the action valid.

5. The release of a Bishop means the release of his counselors also—as is the case with other presidencies throughout the Church.

6. See also Chapter 13 for greater detail.

7. See Chapter 29, "Ordinances and Ceremonies" for a more complete and extended account.

8. The women of the Relief Society also visit the homes of members once in each month, in pairs, as part of their auxiliary program.

9. Read Section 119 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

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318Chapter 27

318THE MISSIONS OF THE CHURCH

3181. MOTIVATION AND PURPOSE

318Send forth the elders of my Church unto the nations which are afar off:... And behold, and lo, this shall be their cry, and the voice of the Lord unto all people: Go ye forth unto the land of Zion, that the borders of my people may be enlarged, and that her stakes may be strengthened, and that Zion may go forth unto the regions round about.—D&C 33:8-9.

318The foregoing scriptural injunction 1 has been followed since the inception of the Church. And in an age that little understood the nature of men as eternal brothers, despite language, race, or creed, the first missions of the Church were established under the authority of the Priesthood. Those who recognized the message and accepted it, were gathered, largely, to the body of the Church. And today, as the Priesthood were instructed through the Prophet, Zion itself is literally "going forth to the regions round about" in both hemispheres of the globe, as witnessed by the growth and development of far-flung stakes of Zion and sturdy mission organizations.

318 - 319But while recognizing the fundamental need of mankind for the message of the Restoration, and in utilizing every available and honorable means known to human ingenuity or technological advance, the Priesthood activates the missionary activity of the Church under the careful restraints imposed by the individual and social natures of the very men and women in whom the need for the Gospel is recognized—and to whom those who receive the message are obligated, not only by divine command to "warn every man his neighbor," but by the ageless agreement made before this world was organized, that those who were privileged to seek and find the Gospel during its earthly career would do all in their power to bring it to the attention of others. Modern scriptures makes this clear to the extent of noting that the majority of the pre-existent beings were bound thus by contract, so precious was the formula for advancement held. Notwithstanding the Priesthood recognizes in its effort those principles previously referred to, which impose restraints despite the former, eager desire of all to receive the knowledge for guiding daily life. Thus the missionary commences his labors, claiming "the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and allowing all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." Moreover, in establishing mission organizations in foreign jurisdiction, while making every effort to do so to full measure, the Church recognizes the realities contained in another Article of our Faith: "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates; in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." Meanwhile the work goes boldly forward wherever possible and whenever the Spirit of the Lord dictates.

319"And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.

319"And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them."—D&C 1:4-5.

319Every Member May Be Called for Missionary Service. In conformity with the cementing missionary purpose of the Church, every male member holds or may hold the Priesthood. It follows that every member of the Church, whether man or woman, may be called to go on a mission for the upbuilding of his fellowmen. In harmony with the law of free agency, it is voluntary with the individual whether he accept or refuse the call. The practice in the Church is that those who accept missionary calls go at their own expense, on a term mission varying in length, but usually not more than two years.—RT 123.

319 - 320Purpose of the Church Missionary System in Brief. The purpose of the Church missionary system is to preach the Gospel to all members of the human race, so that, as far as possible, none may be left with the excuse that he has not heard the Gospel.—RT 123.

320The Threefold Nature of Missionary Labor. First: To bear witness of the restoration of the Gospel to all the world. This is our first and most important duty. It is the beginning of missionary wisdom. Every proper, effective device may be used for this purpose.

320Second: To convert and bring into membership in the Church the honest seekers after truth, who become interested in our mesage.

320Third: To comfort, guide, and instruct, and to keep active, and make glad those who have joined the Church, and who, often in the face of temptation and persecution, are striving to use the truths of the Gospel in their daily lives.

320These three divisions of missionary work really present the three problems of (1) Finding, (2) Converting, (3) Holding.—DS 2.

3202. THE MISSIONARY: HIS CALL, QUALIFICATIONS AND DUTIES

320Every missionary Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is endowed with the Holy Priesthood, and is sent forth as a minister of the restored Gospel of our Lord and Savior. He is expected by those who send him to be of upright conduct and morally clean; and he should keep himself pure, sweet, and unspotted from the sins of the world. He should avoid the very appearance of evil, so that, when honorably released, he may return home with clean hands and a pure heart. This applies also to women sent out as missionaries.—MH 16.

320 - 321Authority to Call Missionaries Vested in the President of the Church. No person but the President of the Church has the authority to call missionaries to preach the Gospel; others may suggest or recommend, but they do so to him, and he issues the call. We draw attention to this fact as it occasionally happens that some brother is spoken to about going on a mission by one of the General Authorities, by the President of the Stake or by his Bishop, and he at once goes to work and begins to prepare to leave, sometimes going so far as to rent his farm, sell his belongings or lease his property. Then, when no date is appointed for his departure and no field of labor assigned him, he feels disappointed and aggrieved.—GD 355.

321The Blessing of Missionary Service. Missionary service is one of the richest experiences of life; and every man should seek the privilege of a mission, and every family should have the privilege of helping maintain one of its members in the mission field.—SP 51.

321Any man that shall go and preach this Gospel of the Kingdom, and fail not to continue faithful in all things, shall not be weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb nor joint; and a hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed. And they shall not go hungry, neither athirst.—D&C 84:80.

321Service in the mission field gives social training. The missionary meets many people of diverse extraction and opinions. The friendship of all of these he must win sufficiently to lay his message before them. This is good training in social behavior. It develops understanding, sympathy and tolerance, indispensable elements in any program for the social well-being of a community. As the missionaries return and assume their share of leadership in the Church, the value of their experience becomes very evident. A body of widely trained men and women, who have met many people of various stations, give to their communities a cosmopolitan understanding and outlook which do much to relieve the monotony of daily toil.—PC 91.

321 - 322The Prophet's Comments on Missionary Methods. 2 It should be the duty of an Elder, when he enters a house, to salute the master of that house, and if he gains his consent, then he may preach to all that are in that house; but if he gain not his consent, let him not go unto his slaves, or servants, but let the responsibility be upon the head of the master of that house, and the consequence thereof, and the guilt of that house is no longer upon his skirts, he is free; therefore, let him shake off the dust of his feet, and go his way. But if the master of that house give consent, the Elder may preach to his family, his wife, his children and his servants, his man-servants, or his maid-servants, or his slaves; then it should be the duty of the Elder to stand up boldly for the cause of Christ, and warn that people with one accord to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, and for the Holy Ghost, always commanding them in the name of the Lord, in the spirit of meekness, to be kindly affectionate one toward another, that the fathers should be kind to their children, husbands to their wives, masters to their slaves or servants, children obedient to their parents, wives to their husbands, and slaves or servants to their masters.—T 87.

3223. MISSION ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION

322The Mission President. A mission is presided over by a Mission President with two counselors appointed by the First Presidency. He is responsible directly to the First Presidency or their duly appointed representatives. The Mission Presidency is assisted by the regularly appointed missionaries, who, in the discharge of their callings, represent the Mission President and act for him.

322For more efficient administration the mission is divided into branches presided over by a President with two counselors. Branches in turn are grouped into districts, presided over by District Presidents. The District President has general supervision over the missionaries in the district. He is, as it were, an intermediary officer between Mission President and Branch President, made necessary by the conditions peculiar to missions, especially by the large number of branches, ordinarily many more than the wards of a stake, and also by the large number of missionaries to be supervised.—PC 158.

322 - 323Responsibility for Mission Funds. The Mission President is responsible for all Church funds handled in the mission. His office force will be provided with books and forms on which to keep adequate record of all transactions. Vouchers are made for all payments from mission funds. On these vouchers every expenditure will be detailed and a receipt obtained.

323Financial and statistical reports are sent to the Presiding Bishop's Office.

323At the close of each year annual reports are prepared and forwarded to the Presiding Bishop's Office on forms provided for that purpose.—MPB 70.

323Installation of New Mission Presidents. A new president of a mission is to be installed, as far as possible, by one of the members of the Council of the Twelve, who shall accompany the new president to his field of labor and to the various districts of his mission.—RC 1, 1929.

323Direction and Promotion of Auxiliary Organizations. The Mission President has full authority to direct the organizations and functions of all Church Auxiliary Organizations in his mission, with the use of such assistants as he may designate to carry out the details. He may get much information relative to the work of these organizations from the headquarters of the Auxiliaries.—MPB 90.

323Place of the Missionary in Administration. The missionaries represent the Mission President and are therefore mission authorities. Their authority reaches above that of the Branch President, when they are acting in harmony with their calling. However, no missionary will attempt to direct a branch officer when the latter is in the exercise of his calling. Likewise, no branch officer will fail to recognize the position of the missionary, but will ask his counsel and place him on the platform with others of presiding authority.—SP 46.

3234. DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION

323 - 324The District President. As an aid in administration the mission is divided into districts, which are in turn composed of branches. Presiding over each district is a District President, who is directly responsible to the Mission President for conditions in his district. His position corresponds responds to that of Stake President in the organized stakes of Zion.

324In some cases the District President is a missionary, and under these conditions he acts without counselors. In other cases he is a local member of the Priesthood, and is assisted by two counselors. The Missionary President supervises both the religious activities of the membership of the district and the proselyting activities of the missionaries laboring in the district. In the case where local brethren are appointed, they preside over the religious activities of the membership of the district, but do not supervise the work of the missionaries. 3MH 107.

324The District Clerk. Each district has a clerk whose responsibility is to act as secretary to the District President or Presidency as the case may be. He is to keep minutes of the district. However, the District President is responsible to the Mission authorities for the accuracy of these records. Where a missionary serves as District President, his companion acts as district clerk. Where local brethren preside a local brother is called to this position.—MH 108.

324District and Branch Conferences. District conferences are held semi-annually by appointment from the Mission President. The District President should arrange a program, secure a hall and make all necessary preparations.

324Branch conferences are held every six months, at which general, mission, district and branch officers are sustained. The District President makes the appointments for such meetings.

324All branch books should be inspected and audited at least twice yearly by the District President or his representative; this includes all general branch books and all books of the auxiliary organizations.

324 - 325An annual branch conference of each auxiliary organization should be arranged. Suitable programs should be provided by the organizations, and conducted by them.

325In all branch conferences, local members should be included among the speakers. 4DS 35, 36.

3255. BRANCH ORGANIZATION

325Mission Branches Organized Under Authority of Mission President. A mission branch is organized upon the authority of the Mission President, by himself or authorized representative. Branches should be organized wherever there are sufficient members to justify them; they offer the best facilities for Church activity in missions. Local members grow most rapidly under responsibility.—MH 124.

325Procedure in Organizing a Branch. To organize a branch, all who are to compose it should be called together at a given time and place. After the usual opening exercises the President of the District should explain the object of gathering, and propose that a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shall there and then be organized, to be called by a name to be selected, and that it be a part of the district over which he presides. This being voted upon affirmatively, the District President should nominate a Branch President and present his name for the sustaining vote of the members of the branch. A suitable person should be selected and sustained as clerk of the branch. The Branch President may at his leisure select his counselors with the approval of the District President. Those who are to be ordained to the Priesthood can there be sustained and their ordinations attended to. The organization of the branch should be recorded in the district historical record, stating the time and place and giving a synopsis of the transaction, with the names of the officers chosen.

325A branch record of minutes should also be opened in which the proceedings at the organization should be the first item recorded, followed by minutes of later gatherings.

326All usual branch records should thereafter be kept. A branch record of members should be provided and all members recorded. The necessary books and information for carrying on the business of the branch should be available to the officers.

326The Branch Presidency should, whenever possible, be fully organized with local brethren. If a traveling elder is President of a Branch he should try to have local brethren as counselors. Vacancies should be immediately filled.

326Members of the Branch Presidency should be set apart, and other officers or teachers may be set apart at the discretion of the District or Mission President.

326To disorganize a branch a similar proceeding, if possible, should be followed.—DS 34.

326In some missions large permanent groups are organized into independent branches by the Mission President. These keep their own records as do the branches in the districts. However, they report directly to the Mission office, and do not function under the supervision of the District President.—MH 124.

326The Dependent Branch. A group of scattered Saints should be placed on the rolls of the branch nearest to them, but they may conduct meetings and maintain the organizations of the Church under proper appointment as far as practicable. Such a group, when organized and given officers, is known as a dependent branch.

326The dependent branch functions entirely through the independent branch to which it is attached. Reports, tithes, etc., from such dependent branches should be incorporated in and as of the independent branch.—BS 43-44.

3266. BRANCH ADMINISTRATION AND ACTIVITIES

326Branch Personnel. The Branch Presidency must be men holding the Priesthood. It is wise, wherever possible, that a worthy man, holding the Priesthood, be chosen to preside in the Sunday School and the M. I. A. Where the branch is small, sisters may share in offices outside the presidency.

327A completely organized branch will have the following officers, with any others necessary:

3271. Branch Presidency: a. President; b. First counselor; c. Second counselor.

3272. Branch clerk.

3273. Officers of the Branch Musical Division: a. Branch Chorister; b. Branch Organist; c. Branch Choir.

3274. Officers of the Branch Auxiliaries (Presidency, secretary, teachers, and others as needed and authorized): a. Relief Society; b. Sunday School; c. Mutual Improvement Associations; d. Primary; e. Genealogical organization; f. Missionary society.—MH 125.

327Appointing and Releasing Officers. Presidents of branches are chosen and set apart by the Mission President assisted by the District President. Before being set apart they are sustained by the members. The counselors are selected by the Branch President with the counsel of the Mission President or his representatives. Heads of the organizations are selected by the District President and their names submitted to the Mission President before they are sustained and set apart. Individuals should never be consulted before their names are submitted to the Mission President. All other officers and teachers are nominated and set apart by the District and Branch Presidents co-operating—MH 125.

327All officers, including the sisters, should be set apart for their offices after having been sustained by the people whom they are to serve. To set a person apart for an office is to give him a special blessing for his work in the office to which he has been called. Such a blessing does not entitle a person to hold the office permanently; it is for comfort and strength and guidance while the office is held.

327The Branch Presidency may be set apart under the direction of the Mission or District officers; branch officers under the direction of the missionary Elders and Branch Presidency—BS 10.

327 - 328When it becomes necessary to make official changes, the person to be released should be notified some time in advance, and, at the moment of release, he should be given a public vote of thanks and a statement of appreciation made for the service rendered. Thereafter, it should be the business of the Branch Presidency to provide for the released officer some other branch duty, so that he may be kept spiritually alive.—BS 9.

328Procedure in Changing Presidencies. Upon release of the Branch President, the District President or Mission secretary will visit the branch and make a transfer of all tithing, fast offering, and branch funds from the retiring to the incoming president. This will be done on a form to be provided by the Mission office. Entry of the items transferred shall be made and duly signed by the incoming and retiring presidents and witnessed by the District President or other officer in charge of the transfer. A copy of the official record of the transfer should be entered in the Branch Historical Record, and signed by the retiring and incoming officers.—MPB 2.

328Responsibility of Presidencies to New Members. It is the duty of the Branch Presidency to give particular attention to new members in the branch, to teach them the Gospel, to assist them in becoming acquainted, and to guide them as may be needed to a firm standing in the Church.—BS 27.

328Program of the Church—The Model. The Branch Presidency and the auxiliaries are under obligations to follow the program and courses of study furnished by the Mission authorities. Every attempt should be made to be in conformity with the general Church program.—SP 45.

328Branch Teaching. The Priesthood should at all times be prepared to render service to the President of the Branch. There are few, if any, more important items of service in the branch, than branch teaching; in no way could it more effectively demonstrate its vitality in Church service.—SP 50.

328Selection of Branch Teachers. The ordained Priests and Teachers are particularly charged with the responsibility of branch teaching, under the direction of the Branch President. All members of the Melchizedek as well as the Aaronic Priesthood living in the branch may be called by the Branch President to this duty.—MPB 27.

329Temple Work for the Missions. Temple work should be done for faithful members of the Church who die in the Mission field without having had access to the Temple of the Lord.

329The relatives of the deceased should first be encouraged to take up this matter with the Mission President.

329If the relatives are indifferent to this requirement, the responsibility rests upon the District President to see that the work is forwarded through the Mission office.—DS 38.

329Those desiring to go to the Temple must have a recommend. The blanks are kept in the Mission office, and when a request is made for a recommend, the Branch President should write the Mission office, giving details of the worthiness of the one desiring the recommend, the nature of the work to be done, and the Temple to which he is going.—MH 128.

3297. THE MISSION PRIESTHOOD

329Ordinations. All worthy male members of the Church over twelve years of age should be ordained to the Priesthood.

329Any man or boy who is to be ordained to an office in the Aaronic Priesthood in any branch must first be considered and approved by the Branch Presidency, by the District and Mission Presidents, and must then have his name voted upon favorably by the members in meeting assembled.

329Ordinations may be performed in the Priesthood meetings or in the monthly fast meetings, as determined by the District President.

329The Branch Presidency may recommend to the District President the names of men worthy to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. Ordinations to the Melchizedek Priesthood are performed under the direct supervision of the Mission President, either by him or someone appointed.

329Every man ordained to the Priesthood should receive a certificate of ordination. Accurate record of all ordinations should be sent to the Mission office.—MH 135.

329 - 330Seventies and High Priests. Seventies should not be ordained in the mission fields, unless exceptional circumstances make such ordination necessary.—RC 1, February 1, 1927.

330If High Priests are ordained in the mission field it should be done under approval of the Council of the Twelve when one of the members is visiting the Mission.—RC 2, September 9, 1937.

330Weekly Priesthood Meetings. The most successful results in Priesthood work are generally obtained by holding weekly meetings, under the direction of the branch presidency, (a) in general assembly for the consideration of matters affecting all the Priesthood, and (b) in quorum or class period for each grade of the Priesthood, to promote the activity of the individual members, and to take up systematic courses of religious study adapted to the various grades of the Priesthood.—MPB 19.

330Presidency of Mission Priests' Quorums. According to the revelation given in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Bishop of a ward is the president of a Priests' Quorum. However, in the mission field, since there are no Bishops, the First Presidency have decided regarding the presidency of a Priests' Quorum as follows: "If there are Priests in the quorum of some experience, it will be proper to have one appointed as the acting president. If not, then it will be proper to have an Elder preside over the quorum. If a Priest were appointed to preside over the quorum it would be desirable to have a member of the Higher Priesthood act as supervisor. This might be one of the branch presidency or some other experienced man."—MPB 20.

330 - 331Trials of Members in the Mission Field. 5 Only the Mission President has authority, within the Mission, to authorize a trial of a Church member for his fellowship or membership in the Church. The Mission President appoints the president and members of the court. If the person to be tried is a lay member or a man holding the Aaronic Priesthood, the Mission President will appoint a council consisting probably, though not necessarily, of the branch presidency and a number of local and traveling Elders—such number as may be conveniently available, but never large. If the person to be tried holds the Melchizedek Priesthood, the Mission President usually appoints the District President the presiding officer of a council consisting of a number of available local and traveling Elders.

331No person involved in a case can sit as a member of the judicial council. If the accused fears prejudice on the part of the council members, he may request that the hearing be held before unprejudiced persons perhaps in another district.

331The accused has the right of appeal from the approved decision of any council, up to the First Presidency.—PC 167.

331Stake Missions. These are presided over by a president who in turn acts under the direction of the Stake President. They are organized according to the pattern of foreign missions. Any questions concerning the work of Stake Missions should be directed to the First Council of Seventy. The Stake Missions have become notable factors in bringing gospel truth to those who have not heard it.

Footnotes

1. For other scriptural passages examine the following: Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Doctrine and Covenants 1:8-10; 1:4-5; 18:20; 33:5-18; 36:4-7; 52:9-21; 50:13-14; 42:2-9; 63:64; 75:24; 84:79, 87; 88:81-84.

2. For current information on missionary methods and duties see the Missionary's Handbook (1946).

3. In such cases the work of the traveling Elders is supervised by one of their number designated by the Mission President as the "Supervising Elder." The traveling missionaries then serve as a co-ordinating adjunct between local authority in the district and the Mission Office.

4. For other meetings, records, and reports, consult the Missionary's Handbook, pp. 118-125.

5. See also Chapter 18, "Judicial Provisions."

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332Chapter 28

332THE PRIESTHOOD AND TEMPLE WORK

332The Lord has ordained that all the most holy things pertaining to the salvation of the dead, and all the most holy conversations and correspondence with God, angels, and Spirits, shall be had only in the sanctuary of His holy Temple on the earth, when prepared for that purpose by His Saints; and shall be received and administered by those who are ordained and sealed unto this power, to hold the keys of the sacred oracles of God.—JD 2:46, Parley P. Pratt.

3321. THE WORK AND PURPOSES OF TEMPLES

332We are commanded to build Temples. Why? What is the great object of building Temples in this dispensation? It is to effect the accomplishment of the very work of organization that must be completed by the time the Ancient of Days shall come; the very work that must be introduced, that the children may be more perfectly connected with the fathers of all the former dispensations; and that the Saints of all former dispensations may understand the work that is being done by their children on their behalf, so that when the heavens shall reveal them, they will find things ready to receive them.—JD 19:13-14, Orson Pratt.

332Types of Work Performed in Temples. Three main types of work are done in the temples: baptism for the dead; ordinations to the Priesthood; endowments, marriages and sealings.

332Temple baptisms are the same as those performed outside of the temple walls, by immersion, by those having the requisite Priesthood authority. Baptisms for the dead are performed only in Temples. Baptism for the living is no longer permitted in the Temples. The font in the Temple is for baptism by proxy for the dead, and the living are baptized elsewhere.

332Most marriages in the temples are for time and eternity—everlasting marriage. To perpetuate the family organization, children are also sealed to their parents for time and eternity.

333Ordinations of men to the Melchizedek Priesthood are performed as a necessary prerequisite to receiving the endowment of the Temple.

333The Temple endowment relates the story of man's eternal journey; sets forth the conditions upon which progress in the eternal journey depends; requires covenants or agreements of those participating, to accept and use the laws of progress; gives tests by which our willingness and fitness for righteousness may be known, and finally points out the ultimate destiny of those who love truth and live by it.—PC 177-178.

333The Sealing Power and Temple Work. The sealing power of the Priesthood on earth is available for the dead as well as for the living. The only condition is that an acceptable living representative act as proxy for the dead person.

333The President of the Church is the only man who holds the keys to this power. He may delegate it in part to others for longer or shorter periods of time to meet the needs of the Church. However, he may at any time recall authority so given.

333The sealing power is exercised within the temples, buildings consecrated for such purposes.—PC 177.

333Temple Administration. There are eight temples in actual operation: at Salt Lake City, Logan, Manti and St. George, Utah; Mesa, Arizona; Cardston, Canada; Laie, Hawaii; and Idaho Falls, Idaho.

333Each one is in charge of a president and two counselors, with a corps of workers sufficiently large to perform the work needed. All male ordinance workers are usually ordained to the office of High Priest in the Melchizedek Priesthood.

333All the temples are, however, under the direct supervision of the President of the Church, who holds the keys of the sealing power.—PC 178.

333Temple Districts. In order to equalize somewhat the amount of work performed in various temples the stakes of the Church are grouped in temple districts. Thus there is the Alberta Temple district, including the three stakes in Canada and four stakes in the United States.

334Groups from the Northwestern States and North Central States Missions also go to this temple. The Logan Temple district includes stakes in northern Utah, in Idaho and Wyoming. The Idaho Falls Temple district includes twenty-six stakes in Idaho, Wyoming and Oregon. The smallest in population of the eight temple districts is the Hawaiian, and the largest is the Salt Lake Temple District, which now (1950) includes 71 stakes. Those living in a certain temple district should use the temple in that district as far as practicable. 1

3342. THE RESTORATION OF TEMPLE WORK

334 - 335The Prophet's Account, May 4, 1842. I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office... in council with General James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and President Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which anyone is able to secure the fulness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn, and come up and abide in the presence of the Elohim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. And the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded; and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints; therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the Temple, and all houses which they have been, or shall hereafter be, commanded of God to build; and wait their time with patience in all meekness, faith, perseverance unto the end, knowing assuredly that all these things referred to this council are always governed by the principle of revelation.—T 237; DHC 5:1-2.

3353. WORK FOR THE LIVING

335Joseph Smith on the Temple Endowment and its Significance. You need an endowment, brethren, in order that you may be prepared and able to overcome all things; and those that reject your testimony will be damned. The sick will be healed, the lame made to walk, the deaf to hear, and the blind to see, through your instrumentality. But let me tell you, that you will not have power, after the endowment, to heal those that have not faith, nor to benefit them, for you might as well expect to benefit a devil in hell as such as are possessed of his spirit, and are willing to keep it: for they are habitations for devils, and only fit for his society. But when you are endowed and prepared to preach the Gospel to all nations, kindred, and tongues, in their own languages, you must faithfully warn all, and bind up the testimony, and seal up the law, and the destroying angel will follow close at your heels, and exercise his tremendous mission upon the children of disobedience; and destroy the workers of iniquity, while the Saints will be gathered out from among them, and stand in holy places ready to meet the Bridegroom when he comes.—T 91.

335Every bearer of the Higher Priesthood should receive the blessing of the Temple endowment, which sets forth the duties and obligations of members of the Church. The Temple endowment is a priestly ordinance.

335Brigham Young on the Temple Endowment. Let me give you a definition in brief. Your endowment is to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord... to enable you to walk back into the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and to gain your exaltation.—D 416.

335 - 336There are many of the ordinances of the house of God that must be performed in a temple that is erected expressly for the purpose. There are other ordinances that we can administer without a temple. There are other blessings that will not be received, and ordinances that will not be performed, according to the law that the Lord has revealed, without their being done in a temple prepared for that purpose.... When we come to other sealing ordinances, ordinances pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, to connect the chain of the Priesthood from Father Adam until now, by sealing children to their parents, being sealed for our forefathers, etc., they cannot be done without a temple.—D 399.

336The Fulness of Salvation Requires the Temple Ordinances. The question is frequently asked, "Can we not be saved without going through with all those ordinances?" I would answer, No, not the fulness of salvation. Jesus said, There are many mansions in my Father's house, and I will go and prepare a place for you. "House" here named should have been translated kingdom; and any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law, and the whole law, too.—T 331.

336In regard to the law of the Priesthood, there should be a place where all nations shall come up from time to time to receive their endowments; and the Lord has said this shall be the place for the baptisms for the dead. Every man that has been baptized and belongs to the Kingdom has a right to be baptized for those who have gone before; and as soon as the law of the Gospel is obeyed here by their friends who act as proxy for them, the Lord has administrators there to set them free.—T 367.

336Marriage for Time and Eternity. The Church which possesses power to seal on earth and in heaven can alone perform marriages for time and eternity. The authority to perform such marriages is vested in the President of the Church, who may for certain periods authorize others to serve for him in such "sealings." Marriages for time and eternity are performed only in the temples, and therefore available only to those who by their righteous lives have made themselves worthy to enter the temples.—PC 78.

336 - 337Marriage, as regarded by the Latter-day Saints, is ordained of God and designed to be an eternal relationship of the sexes. With this people it is not merely a temporal contract to be of effect on earth during the mortal existence of the parties, but a solemn agreement which is to extend beyond the grave. In the complete ordinance of marriage, the man and the woman are placed under covenant of mutual fidelity, not "until death doth you part," but "for time and for all eternity." A contract as far reaching as this, extending not only throughout time but into the domain of the hereafter, requires for its validation an authority superior to that of earth; and such an authority is found in the Holy Priesthood, which, given of God, is eternal. Any power less than this, while of effect in this life, is void as to the state of the human soul beyond the grave. 2AF 444.

337Sealings and the Sealing Power. The doctrine or sealing power of Elijah is as follows: If you have power to seal on earth and in heaven, then we should be wise. The first thing you do, go and seal on earth your sons and daughters unto yourself, and yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory, and go ahead, and not go back, but use a little wisdom, and seal all you can, and when you get to heaven tell your Father that what you seal on earth should be sealed in heaven, according to His promise. I will walk through the gate of heaven and claim what I seal, and those that follow me and my counsel.—T 340.

337This Priesthood has been restored again, and by its authority we shall be connected with our fathers, by the ordinance of sealing, until we shall form a perfect chain from Father Adam down to the closing up scene. This ordinance will not be performed anywhere but in a temple; neither will children be sealed to their living parents in any other place than a temple.—D 400.

337 - 338Dissolution of Temple Marriages. The Church has no authority to grant civil divorces. That is a concern of the State. The Church, however, may dissolve that part of a marriage for time and eternity which pertains to the life after this. The power to "bind on earth and in heaven" is power also to "loose on earth and in heaven." Each request to have an eternal marriage annulled, must come before the President of the Church for action.—PC 79.

3384. THE TEMPLES AND GENEALOGICAL WORK

338Revelation and Writings of Joseph Smith on the Subject: Records. Let us, therefore, as a Church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in His holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.—D&C 128:24.

338The baptismal font was instituted as a similitude of the grave, and was commanded to be in a place underneath where the living are wont to assemble, to show forth the living and the dead, and that all things may have their likeness, and that they may accord one with another—that which is earthly conforming to that which is heavenly, as Paul hath declared (I Corinthians 15:46-48); and as are the records on the earth in relation to your dead, which are truly made out, so also are the records in heaven.

338Let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect.

338And now, in relation to the baptism for the dead, I will give you another quotation of Paul (I Corinthians 15:29): "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?"

338 - 339And again, in connection with this quotation I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the restoration of the Priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting Gospel, namely, the baptism for the dead; for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

339The earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the Gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.—D&C 128:12-18.

339Temples Are Necessary for the Priesthood in Accomplishing the Work of Salvation. For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my Saints, may be baptized for those who are dead.

339For this ordinance belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me.

339But I command you, all ye my Saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.

339 - 340But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a Church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.

340For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;

340For therein are the keys of the Holy Priesthood ordained, that you may receive honor and glory.

340And after this time, your baptisms for the dead by those who are scattered abroad, are not acceptable unto me, saith the Lord.

340For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms for your dead.

340And again, verily I say unto you, how shall your washings be acceptable unto me, except ye perform them in a house which you have built to my name?

340For, for this cause I commanded Moses that he should build a tabernacle, that they should bear it with them in the wilderness, and to build a house in the land of promise, that those ordinances might be revealed which had been hid from before the world was.

340Therefore, verily I say unto you, that your anointings, and your washings, and your baptisms for the dead, and your solemn assemblies, and your memorials, for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi, and for your oracles in your most holy places wherein you receive conversations, and your statutes and judgments, for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, honor, and endowment of all her municipals, are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house, which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name.—D&C 124:29-39.

340Baptism for the Dead: Power of the Priesthood. The doctrine of baptism for the dead is clearly shown in the New Testament; and if the doctrine is not good, then throw the New Testament away; but if it is the word of God.

341then let the doctrine be acknowledged; and it was the reason why Jesus said unto the Jews, "How oft would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"—that they might attend to the ordinances of baptism for the dead as well as other ordinances of the Priesthood, and receive revelations from heaven, and be perfected in the things of the Kingdom of God—but they would not. This was the case on the day of Pentecost; those blessings were poured out on the disciples on that occasion. God ordained that He would save the dead, and would do it by gathering His people together.—T 310.

341Again; if we can, by the authority of the Priesthood of the Son of God, baptize a man in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, for the remission of sins, it is just as much our privilege to act as an agent, and be baptized for the remission of sins for and in behalf of our dead kindred, who have not heard the Gospel, or the fulness of it.—T 201.

341President Joseph Smith then announced: "There shall be no more baptisms for the dead, until the ordinance can be attended to in the Lord's House; and the Church shall not hold another General Conference, until they can meet in said house. For thus saith the Lord!" (October 3, 1841.)—T 193, DHC 4:424-426.

341But how are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples, erecting their baptismal fonts, and going forth and receiving all the ordinances, baptisms, confirmations, washings, anointings, ordinations and sealing powers upon their heads, in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead, and redeem them that they may come forth in the first resurrection and be exalted to thrones of glory with them; and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfils the mission of Elijah. And I would to God that this temple was now done, that we might go into it, and go to work and improve our time, and make use of the seals while they are on earth.—T 330.

341 - 342The Lord has an established law in relation to the matter; there must be a particular spot for the salvation of our dead. I verily believe there will be a place, and hence men who want to save their dead can come and bring their families, do their work by being baptized and attending to the other ordinances for their dead, and then may go back again to live and wait till they go to receive their reward. (April 8. 1844.)—T 363: DHC 6:318-320.

342There is a way to release the spirits of the dead; that is by the power and authority of the Priesthood—by binding and loosing on earth. This doctrine appears glorious, inasmuch as it exhibits the greatness of divine compassion and benevolence in the extent of the plan of human salvation.—T 192.

342Records in Temple Work. And again. I give unto you a word in relation to the baptism for your dead.

342Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning your dead: When any of you are baptized for your dead, let there be a recorder, and let him be eye-witness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears, that he may testify of a truth, saith the Lord:

342That in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven; whatsoever you bind on earth, may be bound in heaven; whatsoever you loose on earth, may be loosed in heaven;

342For I am about to restore many things to the earth, pertaining to the Priesthood, saith the Lord of Hosts.

342And again, let all the records be had in order, that they may be put in the archives of my holy temple, to be held in remembrance from generation to generation, saith the Lord of Hosts.—D&C 127:5-9.

342All persons baptized for the dead must have a recorder present, that he may be an eyewitness to record and testify of the truth and validity of his record. It will be necessary, in the Grand Council, that these things be testified to by competent witnesses. Therefore let the recording and witnessing of baptisms for the dead be carefully attended to from this time forth. If there is any lack, it may be at the expense of our friends: they may not come forth. (Aug. 31, 1842.)—T 260: DHC 5:139-141.

343Temple Recommends. Bishops are authorized to issue temple recommends to all faithful members of the Melchizedek Priesthood and adult women members of their wards. Recommends for the performance of the ordinance of baptism for the dead may also be issued to exemplary young people. Such recommends must be countersigned by the president of the stake. Applicants for temple privileges should make themselves worthy in their lives for these sacred experiences. They should observe all the laws of the Gospel. They should be tithepayers, Word of Wisdom keepers, loyal first and foremost to the Church and its constituted authorities. They should be clean in body, speech and actions. The privileges of the temple should come as a reward for faithful and diligent service.—HI 10.

343Data Required on Temple Recommends. Members going to the temple for their own endowments should obtain, before leaving home, all of the data called for on the reverse side of their recommends. The Bishop or Ward Clerk can assist the individual members by supplying the needed information from the ward records. Baptism dates (day, month and year) must be obtained without fail. Members who are already endowed and who are going to the temple for marriage or sealing must have their own endowment date (day, month and year).

343Women Married to Non-Members. Women married to non-members of the Church should not receive their temple endowments. Women married to members of the Church who are not worthy of temple privileges should be allowed to take their endowments only upon the written consent of their husbands attached to the recommend and after the Stake President has made certain in conversation with the husband that it is wise to allow the woman to receive her endowments.

343 - 344Temple Excursions. Priesthood quorums provide a convenient unit for organizing temple excursions. This activity is a splendid outlet for quorum activity and service. Stake and ward excursions are a regular feature of temple and genealogical work. Priesthood quorums should therefore plan to present a full and active unit on each such occasion. Ward temple excursions should coincide with stake temple excursions. If wards need to go more frequently than the one or two days each month allotted to the stake in question, proper arrangements should be made with the temple authorities through the proper ward and stake committees.

344On such occasions, the ideal is for each person to take names from his own lineage. Those who temporarily have no available names on their own lines may assist friends or neighbors, or take names from the stake and mission lists which are usually available at the temples.

344Junior baptismal excursions are also frequently organized in which the younger members of the Church may participate. A careful effort should be made to organize and supply sufficient names for these occasions.

3445. THE GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY OF UTAH

344To provide a common tool for the Priesthood and membership of the Church in securing the vital data essential for the work of universal salvation in the temples, the First Presidency called into being the Genealogical Society of Utah. Organization was effected at a meeting held in the Church Historian's Office. November 13, 1894. The following were present: President Wilford Woodruff and his two counselors. George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith: John Nicholson, James H. Anderson, Amos M. Musser, Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, James B. Walkley, Abraham H. Cannon, George Reynolds, John Jacques, and Duncan M. McAllister.

344 - 345The Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was subsequently incorporated and the following officers provided: A President, who is designated by the First Presidency, and the following officers who are included among a Board of Seven Directors: A Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Librarian. No membership fees are now required. The Library and Archives are free and open to all worthy persons who come.

345An Executive Secretary with a full time staff labor to cope with the routine tasks of developing stake, ward, and mission societies and in otherwise promoting the work of the Society at home and abroad. The Society is at present housed in the Joseph F. Smith Memorial Building opposite Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine is the official organ of the society.

345Study courses and other helpful material are prepared by this Society for the use of stake and ward members. The Society also conducts training courses leading to certificates as "genealogical students," "qualified genealogists," and "qualified committeemen."

345The Society labors under a two-fold duty: To spread among the people the knowledge of the doctrine of salvation for the dead, and to advance the work of gathering genealogical records for use in the temple work for the dead. These are the objectives, also, of stake and ward genealogical committees.

3456. THE STAKE GENEALOGICAL ORGANIZATION

345Genealogical work in a stake is presided over by the Stake Presidency, and they are responsible to the General Authorities of the Church for its success in the whole stake and in each ward. To represent them in the active direction of genealogical and temple work they appoint a Stake Genealogical Representative. He should, with the approval of the Stake Presidency, choose a first and second counselor, and a number of men and women to serve as a Stake Genealogical Committee. The duties of the committees should be divided into three departments; Temple, Classwork and Home Teaching Departments. The responsibility for these departments should be apportioned among the representative and his two counselors. Each of these three in turn should divide the activities assigned him among sub-committees made up of members chosen from the whole committee.

346Size and Selection of Stake Committees. As a general rule there should be on the Stake Committee at least twice as many committeemen as there are wards in the stake, exclusive of the representative and his counselors. Care should be exercised to choose those qualified to perform efficiently the particular duties assigned them on the stake committee. Young people become some of the very best workers.

3467. WARD GENEALOGICAL ORGANIZATION

346The Ward Genealogical committee is a regular part of every ward organization. It operates under the direction and supervision of the Bishop and his counselors, who, in consultation with the Stake Genealogical Representative, appoint the Ward Representative, and approve his selection of first and second counselors and members of the committee. Since the Bishop is occupied with a multitude of duties, he assigns the active direction of genealogical matters—for the success of which he is responsible to the Stake President—to the Ward Representative and his committee, and he in turn holds them accountable to him for the success of these activities. In general, the plan of organization for the Ward committee should be patterned after that of the Stake committee.

3468. JUNIOR GENEALOGICAL CLASSES

346With the consent of the Bishop, Junior Genealogical Classes may be organized. These should include young folks between the ages of thirteen and about twenty. Where a sufficient number attend, it is advisable to divide this junior group into junior and intermediate classes.

3469. TEMPLE INDEX BUREAU

346 - 347Clearly, so vast a work as temple and genealogical activity may lead to duplicated effort. To reduce or avoid duplication, a bureau, known as the Temple Index Bureau, under the direction of the Church Historian, has classified cards for all those for whom work has been done in the temples. When a new name is to be worked for, it must be checked by the Index Bureau. The number of cards is now more than eight million, probably the largest genealogical index in the world.—PC 178.

34710. THE FAMILY ORGANIZATION

347One of the significant units for the work of the Priesthood is the family organization. This is particularly so because of the outlet it provides for the patriarchal order in promoting the welfare of family groups, and also for fulfilling Priesthood responsibility in the matter of temple work.

347Inasmuch as the original parents of many family groups in the Church have passed on, the inevitable growth and dispersion of the family makes it almost imperative that members meet and form a Family Organization, primarily for genealogical and temple purposes. A president should be appointed, normally, to preside.

347Any descendant, old or young, may take the initial step to call the group together, but should cooperate closely with the recognized heads of various branches of the family. The Genealogical Society will be glad to lend any possible assistance in such matters.

347Genealogical Work not Auxiliary. Some years ago President Anthon H. Lund said, "We call your attention to the recent amalgamation of effort of the work of the auxiliary organizations of the Church, and ask you to note that the Genealogical Society is not included in its program. The evident reason for this is that the work done by the Genealogical Society cannot be classed as auxiliary. It is a basic part of the work of the Church. Take away the power of the Priesthood to seal for time and eternity husbands, wives and children; take away the binding power of families and nations, past, present, and future; and the bringing to the dead the ordinances of the Gospel; and you would take away the means of a perfect salvation for us all."

Footnotes

1. Material in this chapter, shown without a reference code number, is the work of the editors based usually on material in the 1935 Genealogical Course of Study.

2. See DC 132:15-20.

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348Chapter 29

348ORDINANCES AND CEREMONIES 1

3481. GUIDING PRINCIPLES

348Symbolic Meaning of Ordinances. An ordinance is an earthly symbol of a spiritual reality. It is usually also an act of symbolizing a covenant or agreement with the Lord. Finally, it is nearly always an act in anticipation of a blessing from heaven. An ordinance, then, is distinctly an act that connects heaven and earth, the spiritual and the temporal.—PC 109.

348Need of Ordinances. In the spiritual as in the material world, the law of cause and effect rules supreme. The price must be paid for everything received. That is the higher justice. The acts known as ordinances are therefore those by which certain desired things are attained. By the act of baptism, membership in the Church is obtained; by the act of administering consecrated oil to the sick person, followed by the sealing prayer, the sick are often healed. Ordinances serve also as witnesses or signatures to the spiritual agreements made. The act of being immersed in water by one having authority becomes a witness of the acceptance of the code of truth known as the Gospel. The act of partaking of the Sacrament is a witness of renewed allegiance to the Savior and to God. The meaning of ordinances confirms their necessity in an organization built upon order and system. The ordinances of the Church are few in number, but vitally important.—PC 109.

348 - 349Sanctity of Priesthood Ordinances. The fact that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in possession of the Priesthood is sufficient to make any and every ordinance administered by due authority within the Church an event of supreme importance. In performing any such ordinance the one who officiates speaks and acts, not of himself and of his personal authority, but by virtue of his ordination and appointment as a representative of the powers of heaven. We do not set apart Bishops and other officers in the Church, with the show and ceremony of a gala day, as do certain sectarians, nor do we make the ordinance of baptism a spectacular display; but the simplicity of the order established in the Church of Christ ought rather to add to than take from the sacred character of the several ordinances.—GD 143.

349Absence of Set Forms. There are few set forms in the Church of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit directs the Priesthood.

349Rather than having set forms, the Elders should live so that they may have the inspiration of the Spirit of God, when called upon to officiate in the ordinances, then their prayers will be simple, direct, appropriate and effective in the sight of God.

349The formal prayers and forms required of the Church should be well learned, and the manner of administering Church ordinances should be carefully followed.—SP 58.

349Printed or written forms for ordinances of the Church should never issue except from and under the authority of the General Authorities themselves.—RC 2, April 23, 1931.

349Joseph Smith on the Significance of Temples. (See also chapter 28.) The Church is not fully organized, in its proper order, and cannot be, until the temple is completed, where places will be provided for the administration of the ordinances of the Priesthood.—T 224.

3492. BAPTISM

349The Command. But now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptize by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, even as the Apostles of old.—D&C 35:6.

349 - 350And again, by way of commandment to the Church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the Church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve Him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into His Church.—D&C 20:37.

350Prerequisites to Performance of the Ordinance. The principles of the Gospel and the duties of Saints should be fully explained to those who have expressed a desire to be baptized. The law of tithing should be taught, the Word of Wisdom made clear, and the importance of living according to the principles of the Gospel stressed. It is absolutely essential that they believe with all their hearts that Jesus is the Christ, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. The solemnity and sacredness of the ordinance of baptism should be impressed upon their minds.

350Children should not be baptized until they reach the age of accountability, set at eight years through revelation.

350A married woman should never be baptized without her husband's consent; and children should not be baptized without the consent of the parents. Even when young ladies have reached the legal age of maturity, the parents' consent should be obtained if possible.

350The one baptizing must be properly appointed by the presiding officer. If the candidate desires a particular individual, or if a father desires to baptize a child, this may be granted provided the man is worthy and willing.—MG 133-134.

350Performance of the Ordinance. The Lord has given the exact words to be used and the mode of performing the ordinance.

350"No one can be received into the Church of Christ unless he has arrived unto the years of accountability before God, and is capable of repentance.

350"Baptism is to be administered in the following manner unto all those who repent:

350 - 351"The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented him or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

351Then shall he immerse him or her in the water and come forth again out of the water."—D&C 20:71-74.

351Dedication of Baptismal Water Unnecessary. The dedicating of water by prayer for baptism is not a part of the baptismal ordinance or ceremony, and is, therefore, not necessary. It is, of course, appropriate to have a short preliminary service, including prayer and a hymn where desired. Stake Presidencies, Mission Presidents, and Ward Bishoprics should instruct those who may have charge of baptismal services of the proper procedure to be followed.—HI 91.

351The Question of Re-baptism. There is no ordinance of "re-baptism" in the Church, distinct in nature, form, or purpose, from other baptism; and, therefore, in administering baptism to a subject who has been formerly baptized, the form of the ordinance is exactly the same as in first baptisms.

351Repeated baptisms of the same person are not sanctioned in the Church. It is an error to assume that baptism offers a means of gaining forgiveness of sins however oft repeated.... Neither the written law nor the instructions of the living Priesthood designate baptism as a means of securing forgiveness by those who are already within the fold of Christ. Unto such, forgiveness of all sin has been promised on confession and repentance with full purpose of heart.... If we covenant with the Lord at the waters of baptism, and thereafter seek to observe His law. He is merciful to pardon our little transgressions through repentance, sincere and true; and without such repentance, baptism would avail us nothing.—AF 142-145.

3513. CONFIRMATION

351 - 352The Command. And again, it shall come to pass that on as many as ye shall baptize with water, ye shall lay your hands, and they shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and shall be looking forth for the signs of my coming, and shall know me.—D&C 39:23.

352The duty of the members after they are received by baptism.— The Elders or Priests are to have a sufficient time to expound all things concerning the Church of Christ to their understanding, previous to their partaking of the Sacrament and being confirmed by the laying on of hands of the Elders, so that all things may be done in order.—D&C 20:68.

352Performing the Ordinance. A baptized person is properly confirmed a member of the Church if the following words are used: Calling the candidate by name—"In the name of Jesus Christ, and by the authority of the Holy Priesthood, we lay our hands upon your head and (not to) confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and say unto you, Receive the Holy Ghost. Amen."

352The confirming of baptized persons should take place in the Fast Day Sacrament meeting, if in organized branches. In other cases the Elders may call a special meeting for the purpose, or if necessary perform the ordinance immediately after baptism. Time should be taken, however, to give the proper instructions as stated in the revelation above. Accurate record should be kept.—MG 100-101.

3524. BLESSING AND NAMING CHILDREN

352Children of Church Members. Every member of the Church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the Elders before the Church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in His name.—D&C 20:70.

352In blessing a child, the name selected should be given, and such other blessings as a father might pronounce upon his child as the Spirit directs.—SP 63.

352The father—whether he holds the required Priesthood or not, may hold his child in the ceremony.

352 - 353Blessing of Non-Members and Other Questions. The blessing of children should be encouraged even among non-members. Whenever practicable, parents should take their children to be blessed in the Fast meeting of the branch where their membership is recorded. There should be prepared by the branch clerk at that meeting the Certificate of Blessing for the signature of the branch president.

353If there is presented for a blessing, a child whose parents who are not members of the Church, the name is to be placed on the record of Children Blessed. In the margin provided, the notation should be made ("Parents not members of the Church"). If a child is presented, one of whose parents is a member of the Church, it may be blessed and with the consent of the parents, the name entered on the record of members.

353If a child, born out of wedlock, is brought to be blessed, it should be given the surname of the mother, unless the father is willing that it should bear his surname. If the parents are Church members and unmarried, they should right the wrong as far as possible by marrying.

353In the blessing of children the Elder may properly call upon the father to pronounce the blessing and give the name, if the father holds the Melchizedek Priesthood.

353If for justifiable reasons, parents are not able to bring children to Fast meeting, they may be blessed at home under the direction of or with permission of the branch presidency or Elder, and the clerk should not fail to make the proper record. This practice should be permitted only under very exceptional circumstances.

353If an infant less than eight days old be critically ill, it may be blessed and the proper information reported to the clerk for entry in the Record of Members.

353If children die before they are blessed, the clerk should record entries of birth and death in the Historical Record.—MH 131.

353Performing the Ordinance. No definite words are given for this blessing, but the essential things that should be accomplished are that the child should be taken in the arms of the elders and those called to assist, a blessing pronounced, and the desired name given. This should be done in the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood and in the name of Jesus Christ.—MG 98.

3545. THE SACRAMENT

354The Sacrament Instituted in the Restored Church. It is expedient that the Church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in the remembrance of the Lord Jesus.—D&C 20:75.

354For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the Sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory—remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins.

354Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies;

354Wherefore, you shall partake of none except it is made new among you; yea, in this my Father's kingdom which shall be built up on the earth.—D&C 27:2-4.

354Purpose of the Sacrament. The great central purpose of the Sacrament is to keep alive in the memories of the members of the true Church of God, the redemption wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ.—RQA 49, 1930.

354Administration of the Sacrament. The Sacrament is usually administered in the Sunday evening sacrament meeting, in the Fast Day testimony meeting, and in Sunday School. Under special circumstances it may be administered at other times.

354In branch meetings of all kinds it is administered under the direction of the branch presidency. The presidency often appoints some other individual to directly supervise the preparation of the Sacrament and the utensils.

354Only Priests in the Aaronic Priesthood and men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood may pronounce the prayer on the Sacrament; Deacons and Teachers may pass it.

354 - 355All Priests should commit to memory the prayers on the Sacrament. They are found in the twentieth section of the Doctrine and Covenants and the fourth and fifth chapters of Moroni in the Book of Mormon. Authority for changing from wine to water is found in the twenty-seventh section of the Doctrine and Covenants.

355Only the officiating Priest kneels in administering the Sacrament. The prayers should be offered in a humble, fervent spirit, with feeling, and not in a mechanical, hasty, indifferent manner.

355The vessels used for holding the bread and water should be cleansed and sterilized, and wherever possible the table should be covered with a clean white table cloth.

355Those administering the Sacrament should wash their hands immediately before doing so.

355Children are considered members of the Church without baptism, until they arrive at the age of accountability, and as such are eligible to receive the Sacrament. They should be taught that after they have been baptized and confirmed in the Church, the partaking of the Sacrament has to them an added significance in that it marks a renewal of the covenants they made in the waters of baptism.—RQA 62-64, 1930.

3556. CONSECRATION OF OIL

355Olive oil is consecrated before it is used to anoint the sick. A good grade of pure olive oil should be secured, and those holding the Melchizedek Priesthood should set it apart for its holy purposes.

355There is no set form for consecrating oil, though it would appear that the consecration is intended for both the anointing and the healing of the sick. The ordinance should be performed under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and such words should be used as are consistent with what is being asked for. We should remember that the oil should be consecrated, dedicated and set apart for holy purposes, to be used in the household of faith, for the healing of the sick (or for the anointing of the sick). Both phrases may be used with propriety. It should be remembered, however, that it is the prayer of faith that saves the sick, and the Lord who raises them up, not the oil, though we are commanded to anoint with oil, in the name of the Lord.—MH 139, Joseph F. Smith.

3567. ADMINISTRATION TO THE SICK

356Scriptural Admonitions. And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy. And the Elders of the Church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name; and if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me.—D&C 42:43-44; see also D&C 107:67.

356Is any sick among you? let him call for the Elders of the Church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.—James 5:14, 15.

356Administering to the Sick. Administration should be made at the request of the sufferer or some one vitally concerned, so that it may be done in answer to faith. One of the Elders called in should pour oil on the crown of the head and anoint the sick person and while anointing pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ for the restoration of the health of the sick brother or sister, but he should not seal the anointing. Oil for this anointing should be pure olive oil which has been consecrated for the purpose. Giving consecrated oil internally is not a part of the administration and should not be done.

356Sealing the Anointing. Two or more Elders shall lay their hands on the head of the sick person, after he or she has been anointed, and one of the Elders shall be voice in the sealing of the anointing. After sealing the anointing, the one speaking may add such blessing upon the head of the sick person as the Spirit of the Lord may dictate, doing all in the name of Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood. It is permissible, if the Spirit of the Lord should indicate that it should be done, for the brethren to kneel in prayer before the administration, but this is not an essential part of the ordinance of administering to the sick.

357Joseph Smith on the Use of the Oil by Women. Respecting females administering for the healing of the sick, he further remarked, there could be no evil in it, if God gave his sanction by healing; that there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on and praying for the sick, than in wetting the face with water; it is no sin for anybody to administer that has faith, or if the sick have faith to be healed by their administration.—T 224.

3578. THE CIVIL MARRIAGE CEREMONY

357Worthy members of the Church should seek to be married in the temples by the Priesthood. Members of the First Presidency or of the Council of the Twelve should not be asked to perform marriages outside the temple. If necessary, the civil marriage ceremony outside the temple can be performed either by the Bishop of the Ward or the President of the Stake, and in the absence or disability of one of these, by his counselor, who under such circumstances is the acting presiding authority. In any special cases, where it is considered advisable to give a special commission, such commission should be obtained from the First Presidency of the Church.—RC 2, Aug. 2, 1939.

357Performing Civil Marriages. The essential things that should be said in the marriage ceremony have been outlined in the "Handbook of Instructions" sent out by the Presiding Bishopric. These are included in the ceremony which is written below:

357(The bride will stand at the left side of the bridegroom.)

357"You, my young friends, are standing on the threshold of a new life. There are four great events in the eternal existence of any person. They are birth, marriage, death, and the resurrection. So far as mortal life is concerned, marriage is the most vital step. It may bring the greatest joy and happiness or the bitterest sorrow and misery. Intelligent love and consideration for each other, void of selfish gratification, will lead to permanent peace and contentment.

358"Marriage is a sacred contract, a religious ordinance, instituted by God Himself when, having formed man, He said: It is not good for man to be alone. And therefore, He formed a woman as a companion for man, and blessed the union He had thus established.

358"Marriage is attended with the highest bliss and with some of the weightiest responsibilities that can devolve upon men and women in mortality.

358(You will please take each other by the right hand.)

358(This done, the one officiating, addressing the bridegroom, shall continue.)

358"(Bridegroom's name), you take (bride's name) by the right hand in token of the covenant you now enter into to become her companion and husband, to love, honor and cherish her as long as you both shall live. And you hereby promise to observe all the laws, covenants and obligations pertaining to the holy state of matrimony; and this you do in the presence of God and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?

358(Answer in affirmative.)

358(The one officiating, addressing the bride, shall continue.)

358"(Bride's name), you take (bridegroom's name) by the right hand in token of the covenant you now enter into to become his companion and wife, to love, honor and cherish him as long as you both shall live. And you hereby promise to observe all the laws, covenants and obligations pertaining to the holy state of matrimony. This you do in the presence of God and these witnesses of your own free will and choice? (Answer in affirmative.)

358"By virtue of the Holy Priesthood and the authority vested in me as a minister of the Gospel. I pronounce you, (bridegroom's name) and (bride's name), husband and wife, legally and lawfully wedded for the period of your mortal lives.

358"And in further token of the covenant you now enter into you may place this ring upon the bride's finger, which is symbolical of never-ending loyalty and affection. It is without beginning or end, even as life itself.

359"May God bless your union, and enable you to keep sacred the covenants you have made. May you live a long, useful and happy life together. These blessings I invoke upon you, by the authority of the Holy Priesthood, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

359"You may kiss each other as husband and wife."—MG 105-107.

3599. FASTING AND PRAYER

359The first Sunday of the month has been set aside as the monthly Fast Day of the Church. It is expected that all members of the Church as far as possible abstain at least from the morning and noon meals on that day. A sum of money equivalent to that saved by this abstinence should be given to the Bishop of the ward for the support of the poor.

359The monthly fast should always be accompanied with prayer. It is well to call the household together on the day of fasting, to thank the Lord for blessings received, and to supplicate the Lord for the many blessings needed by the members of the family. Individuals frequently undertake fasts when in special need of heavenly help. The Church urges all to observe the monthly fasts, and advises that fasts at other times be engaged in wisely, with due respect to the conditions and needs of the body.—PC 111.

35910. FUNERALS AND BURIALS

359Latter-day Saint funerals are both simple and impressive. When called upon to conduct a funeral a presiding officer should meet with the bereaved family and learn their wishes in the matter. They may ask him to arrange the program, in which event appropriate hymns should be chosen.

359The undertaker should be consulted, unless the family has made all arrangements as to time and any legal requirements. In parts of Europe, state and local burial requirements are such that a careful investigation should be made to eliminate any embarrassment.

360It is appropriate to hold the funeral in the branch hall, in a home, the mortuary, or at the graveside, respecting the family's wishes and local regulations.—MH 144.

360Funeral services generally consist of an opening song (it is not necessary to have the congregation sing, though this is often done in the mission field), prayer, another musical number, remarks appropriate to the occasion, music and a closing prayer.

360At the graveside another song may be sung and the dedicatory prayer offered.

360Hymns expressive of hope, of life, and of the assured resurrection, brief addresses—for the giving of which the guidance of the Holy Spirit should be diligently sought, so that they may be uplifting, comforting and reassuring to those who mourn—with invocation and benediction. These are the essentials of a funeral service.

360Dedicating Graves. Though one holding the Priesthood is generally chosen, any suitable person may dedicate a grave. This may be done either with or without the authority of the Priesthood. The one offering the prayer may begin: "Our Father in heaven, surrounding this open grave we dedicate and consecrate this spot of earth as the final resting place for the body of " To this may appropriately be added supplication to the Lord that this spot of earth may be a hallowed place to which the kindred may come, and that at the time appointed for its resurrection the body may again come forth reanimated with the spirit.—MH 144-145.

36011. DEDICATING HOMES AND PLACES OF WORSHIP

360It is always customary in the Church to dedicate meetinghouses (after they have been fully paid for) to the Lord for sacred purposes.

360 - 361It is customary also to dedicate the homes in which the Saints live, after they have been paid for, as a witness of the willingness of the family to obey the law of the Lord, and to secure divine protection from destructive forces, whether by natural elements or by evil-minded men.

361Prayers of dedication should be simple appeals to the Lord, fitted to the intended use of the building, and as actual dedication of the building to the Lord.

361No set forms are provided by the Church. Dependence is placed upon the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord on all such occasions.

363APPENDIX II

363GENERAL AUTHORITIES OF THE CHURCH AND THOSE WHO ORDAINED THEM

363This list has been compiled to assist those who are tracing their Priesthood pedigree.

363Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ordained Apostles in 1829 by the ancient Apostles Peter, James, and John. (D&C 20:2, 3 and 27:12.)

363The power to call the first Twelve Apostles was given by revelation in June. 1829 (D&C 18:26, 27); and Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were commissioned to "search out the Twelve" (D&C 18:37.)

363Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon, were subsequently designated and blessed by the laying on of the hands of the Presidency of the Church to choose and ordain the Twelve. (History of the Church, Vol. 2, pages 186, 187.)

363Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, through whom all of the Apostles of the Church from John E. Page to Hugh B. Brown trace their Priesthood Authority, were ordained Apostles pursuant to the foregoing commission and these ordinations were confirmed by the First Presidency, Joseph Smith, Jr. Sidney Rigdon, and F. G. Williams. (History of the Church, Vol. 2, page 187 and footnote page 188.)

369APPENDIX III

369STUDY COURSES FOR THE QUORUMS OF THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD

369Up to the year 1908, the quorums of the Priesthood selected their own study courses, usually the standard works of the Church or expositions of the Gospel by acceptable Church members.

369On April 8, 1908, under the authority of the First Presidency, a general committee was formed to prepare uniform study courses for the quorums of the Priesthood throughout the Church.

369This committee was composed of Elders Rudger Clawson and David O. McKay of the Council of the Twelve; several members of the First Council of the Seventy; the Presiding Bishopric, and a number of other prominent Elders of the Church. The personnel was increased with the years until the committee had twenty-five members.

369A number of notable study courses were prepared, from time to time, dealing with Gospel principles, in theory and application, and with the privileges and duties of the various offices of the Priesthood. These study courses remain excellent treatises on various phases of Gospel history and philosophy. It was not long until the Priesthood quorums of the Church were in step with one another. It proved to be a forward movement.

369At first, a study course was published for each of the various offices of the Priesthood. After some years the same study course was prepared for Elders. Seventy and High Priests; but separate ones, and usually in rotation, for Deacons, Teachers and Priests.

369In 1923, after years of very useful service, the General Priesthood committee was released from further duty; and the responsibility of caring for the welfare of the Melchizedek Priesthood was placed upon the Council of the Twelve; and of the Aaronic Priesthood upon the Presiding Bishopric. This was a natural assignment, fitting the sacred calling of these two of the leading councils of the Church.

369Since 1908, numerous study courses, quorum guides and other helpful material have been published. The following study courses have been provided for the Melchizedek Priesthood:

3691908—Seventies History of the Seventy and a survey of the

369books on Holy Scripture.

3691909—High Priests Church Organization and History.

3691909—Seventies Outline of History of the Dispensations of

369the Gospel.

3691909—Elders The Divine Authenticity of the Book of

369Mormon, and a Consideration of Elders

369Practical Duty.

3701910—High Priests History of the Gospel.

3701910—Seventies The Doctrine of Deity.

3701910—Elders Duties and Principles from the Doctrine and

370Covenants and Modern Revelation.

3701911—High Priests Vol. 2—Church History.

3701911—Seventies The Atonement.

3701911—Elders Vol. 2—Church History.

3701912—High Priests Principles of the Gospel.

3701912—Seventies The Atonement.

3701912—Elders The Articles of Faith Applied.

370From 1912 to 1928, inclusive, High Priests, Seventies and Elders have followed the same course of study.

3701913—Vol. 2—Church History.

3701914—Gospel Themes.

3701915—Rational Theology.

3701916—Jesus the Christ.

3701917—Jesus the Christ.

3701918—Problems of the Age.

3701919—Gospel Doctrine.

3701920—Gospel Doctrine.

3701921—Gospel Doctrine.

3701922—Essentials in Church History.

3701923—Essentials in Church History.

3701924—The New Testament.

3701925—Doctrines of the Church.

3701926—Discourses of Brigham Young.

3701927—Discourses of Brigham Young.

370From 1928 to 1937, inclusive, the quorums studied jointly the courses of study provided for the Gospel Doctrine class of the Sunday Schools. In the monthly and short quorum meetings special Priesthood subjects were studied. The first subject listed below is the Gospel Doctrine subject, the second, the subject for the other meetings.

3701928—Divine Authority—Guide for Quorums of the Melchizedek

370Priesthood.

3701929—Divine Authority—In the Realm of Quorum Activity.

3701930—The Gospel Applied to Daily Life—Principles of Personal

370Conduct.

3701931—Breadth of Mormonism—In the Realm of Quorum Activity.

3711932—Breadth of Mormonism—Supplement to "In the Realm of

371Quorum Activity."

3711933—High Priests Doctrine and Covenants — Handbook for

371Quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

3711933—Seventies Doctrine and Covenants—Study of the Old

371Testament.

3711933—Elders Doctrine and Covenants — Handbook for

371Quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

3711934—High Priests Doctrine and Covenants—The Divine Mission-

371of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

3711934—Seventies Doctrine and Covenants—Basic Principles

371of Spiritual Progress.

3711934—Elders Doctrine and Covenants—The Divine Mission-

371of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

3711935—The Life of Christ—The Holy Priesthood and The Church and

371the Present Day.

3711936—Teachings and Testimonies of New Testament Writers—The

371Holy Priesthood.

3711937—Restoration of the Gospel—A Handbook for Quorums of the

371Melchizedek Priesthood.

371From 1938 special study courses have been provided for the quorums of the Priesthood, to be used in the weekly quorum or quorum group meetings.

3711938—The Word of Wisdom.

3711939—The Priesthood and Church Welfare.

3711940—"Priesthood and Church Government."

3711941—"Priesthood and Church Government."

3711942—"Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith."

3711943—"Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith."

3711944—"The Gospel Kingdom."

3711945—"The Gospel Kingdom."

3711946—"The Gospel Through the Ages."

3711947—"Church History and Modern Revelation."

3711948—"Church History and Modern Revelation."

3711949—"Church History and Modern Revelation."

3711950—"Church History and Modern Revelation."

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